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Title: Modelling individual traumatic experiences and the association with mental health outcomes.
Author: Houston, James Edward
ISNI:       0000 0001 3582 3910
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2008
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Research suggests that negative life events are common, and moreover, that individuals frequently suffer multiple traumatic events (Kessler, Sonnega, Bramet, Hughes, & Nelson, 1995), as well as multiple life stressors (Smith, 1985). Moreover, contemporary research has suggested that the experience of negative events may cluster within the population, suggesting that individuals may suffer from similar, multiple experiences (Menard, Bandeen-Roche, & Chilcoat, 2004). Given that experiences of this nature have consistently been shown to be associated to p'oor mental health outcomes, including both psychiatric illness and suicidal behaviour (Kessler, 1997; O'Donnell, Creamer, and Pattison, 2004; Read, Agar, Barker-Collo, Davies, Moskowitz, 2001), it is important for research to identify these clusters, and in addition, risk factors associated to them. The current research therefore investigated exposure to negative life events, both in terms of major trauma and minor life stressors, by adopting a 'person centred' approach as opposed to the traditional 'variable centred' approach. 'Variable centred' analysis of negative life events may be misleading in that multiple experiences may not be represented, therefore not effectively demonstrating the history of experience within an individual. 'Person centred' analysis allows research to examine the nature of experience in terms of the profile ofthose who have been exposed. Results suggest that within a large population sample from the United States of America (The National Comorbidity Survey: Kessler, 1994), experiences of negative life events may be described by a number ofhomogenous sub-groups who suffer similar, multiple experiences oftrauma and life stress. Additionally, the current research found these clusters to be significantly associated to a number of psychiatric disorders as well as to suicidal behaviour. It is recommended from these findings that clinicians examine a full history with regard to negative life experiences, as this may affect case formulation and treatment planning alike, as well as the evaluation of appropriate interventions for possible suicidal behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available