The role of forms of traumatic exposure in relational and physical aggression perpetrated by incarcerated men and women
The relationship between history of trauma and violence is well studied. However, the relationship between trauma and relational aggression is not. And yet relational aggression is of considerable relevance to the criminal justice system. This study was designed to extend the literature on trauma and violence by including a measure of relational aggression and testing for sex differences. The sample was comprised of incarcerated men (N = 125) and women (N = 141). Data were collected from inmate interviews and inmate completion of a battery of instruments. Regression analyses revealed that of three types of trauma, only a history of interpersonal nonsexual trauma predicted the perpetration of both relational aggression and physical aggression while incarcerated, although no sex differences emerged. Results provide guidance for intervention efforts.
The Symptoms of Trauma Scale (SOTS): Psychometric evaluation and gender differences with adults diagnosed with serious mental illness
A new clinician rating measure, the Symptoms of Trauma Scale (SOTS), was administered to adult psychiatric outpatients (46 men, 47 women) with severe mental illness who reported a history of trauma exposure and had recently been discharged from inpatient psychiatric treatment. SOTS composite severity scores for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex PTSD (cPTSD), and total PTSD/cPTSD severity had acceptable internal consistency reliability. SOTS scores' construct and convergent validity was supported by correlations with self-report measures of childhood and adult trauma history and PTSD, dissociation, and anger symptoms. For men, SOTS scores were associated with childhood sexual and emotional abuse and self-reported anger problems, whereas for women SOTS scores were most consistently and strongly associated with childhood family adversity and self-reported PTSD symptoms. Results provide preliminary support for the reliability and validity of the SOTS with adults with severe mental illness and suggest directions for replication, measure refinement, and research on gender differences.
Early Physical Victimization is a Risk Factor for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Mississippi Police and Firefighter First Responders to Hurricane Katrina
The goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between early physical victimization and long-term mental health outcomes in a sample of first responder police and firefighter personnel involved in the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Participants included 441 Biloxi and Gulfport Police and Firefighters. One fifth of participants reported having experienced physical victimization before age 18. After controlling for age, relationship status, and disaster exposure, early physical victimization was modestly associated with symptoms of PTSD, peritraumatic dissociation, depression, and sleep problems. The results suggest that early physical victimization might be a risk factor for mental health problems in police and fire personnel responding to mass disaster, pointing to the importance of developing interventions to mitigate risk related to a history of physical victimization in first-responders. C1 [Komarovskaya, Irina; Brown, Adam D.; Galatzer-Levy, Isaac R.; Madan, Anita; Henn-Haase, Clare; Marmar, Charles R.; Chemtob, Claude M.] NYU, Dept Psychiat, New York, NY 10016 USA. [Teater, Julie] Consulting Psychol Resources LLC, Biloxi, MS USA. [Clarke, Brandi H.] JW Hall LLC, Biloxi, MS USA
The impact of killing and injuring others on mental health symptoms among police officers
This study examined the relationship between killing or seriously injuring someone in the line of duty and mental health symptoms in a sample of police officers (N = 400) who were first assessed during academy training and at five additional time points over three years. We found that nearly 10% of police officers reported having to kill or seriously injure someone in the line of duty in the first three years of police service. After controlling for demographics and exposure to life threat, killing or seriously injuring someone in the line of duty was significantly associated with PTSD symptoms (p < .01) and marginally associated with depression symptoms (p = .06). These results highlight the potential mental health impact of killing or seriously injuring someone in the line of duty. Greater attention to mental health services following these types of exposures can serve as a preventative measure for police officers who have been negatively impacted
Symptom patterns related to traumatic exposure among female inmates with and without a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder
Our study examines the trauma-related experiences of 203 female prison inmates, most of whom had experienced chronic trauma throughout their lives but among whom only 51 percent met diagnostic criteria for PTSD. We used the two groups to study differences in trauma exposure and pre-existent psychopathology as they related to the emergence of full diagnostic criteria for PTSD. We also used the entire sample to explore the factor structure and endorsement frequencies of each symptom category as it related to trauma exposure. Our analyses indicated that the PTSD group differed from the non-PTSD group in the number of life traumas each group had experienced and the pre-existence of borderline personality disorder. Five symptoms accurately differentiated the two groups, with an 86 percent correct classification: recurrent thoughts, amnesia, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating, and a heightened startle response. An exploratory factor analysis further suggested two primary factors: intrusion and arousal. We apply our findings to the naturalistic versus interactional debate surrounding the disorder and reflect on the endorsement frequencies as they might inform our understanding of malingering as it occurs in legal and forensic settings.