Relationships Between Attribution Style, Child Abuse History, and PTSD Symptom Severity in Vietnam Veterans
ABSTRACT Relationships between learned helplessness, locus of control, child abuse histories, adult trauma exposure and subsequent PTSD symptom severity in a clinical sample of male Vietnam veterans were examined. Learned helplessness and external locus of control were not only reliably associated with each other, but also differentially associated with childhood abuse and PTSD symptom severity. Learned helplessness, in particular, evidenced significant relationships with both childhood trauma and current distress. Contrary to expectations, child abuse history was not reliably associated with combat-related PTSD. Overall results suggested that learned helplessness and external locus of control are correlated, but independent constructs with compelling links to adult psychopathology.
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ABSTRACT: How does traumatic stress change the ability to motivate oneself to achieve certain goals? How do motivational abilities influence the development and course of trauma sequelae? Few studies have focused on motivational constructs within posttraumatic stress research. From a trauma research perspective, it can be hypothesized that traumatic stress may contribute to motivational dysfunction. The main goal of the present article is to fill this gap in research by reviewing and discussing the existing trauma literature in terms of motivation-related concepts, such as self-efficacy, locus of control, self-esteem, and self-control/impulsivity. Fifty-four studies were reviewed, 10 of which were longitudinal studies. Approximately 20% of the reviews assessed whether motivational concepts predict posttraumatic stress, whereas only 8% examined the reverse relationship. With the exception of a few studies, motivational constructs seem to predict posttraumatic stress over the life span. The strongest relationships were reported for self-efficacy, followed by locus of control and self-esteem and, lastly, impulsivity/self-control. Overall, the findings of this review indicate that there is a lack of research investigating motivational factors as outcome variables following traumatic experiences. Furthermore, the need for longitudinal studies and studies with older adults is noted.European Journal of Psychotraumatology 01/2012; 3.
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ABSTRACT: The war in Bosnia resulted in the displacement of millions of civilians, most of them women. Ten years after the civil war, many of them are still living as refugees in their country of origin or abroad. Research on different refugee groups has continuously reported persistent levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health problems in this population. The present study compared PTSD and self-concept in Bosnian refugee women (n = 29) with women who were internally displaced (IDP; n = 26) and non-displaced women (n = 32). Data were collected using the Bosnian Trauma Questionnaire and four scales assessing self-esteem, perceived incompetence, externality of control attribution, and persistence. IDPs scored significantly higher on PTSD symptoms, externality of control attribution and perceived incompetence, and lower on self-esteem than both refugee and non-displaced women. The level of education most strongly predicted PTSD symptom severity, followed by the type of displacement, and exposure to violence during the war. Associations of self-concept with displacement and psychopathology were inconsistent, with type of displacement predicting control attributions but not other aspects of self-concept and PTSD symptoms being partly related to perceived incompetence and self-esteem. These results support previous findings stating that, in the long run, refugees show better mental health than IDPs, and that witnessing violence is a traumatic experience strongly linked to the development of PTSD symptoms. Results further indicate that education plays an important role in the development of PTSD symptoms. Associations of control attributions and type of displacement were found; these results have not been previously documented in literature.Archives of Women s Mental Health 10/2008; 11(4):269-76. · 2.01 Impact Factor