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Title: The effect of age at first trauma and multiple traumatisation on symptoms of Complex PTSD
Author: Roberts, L.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Aims There is a growing body of evidence into the prevalence of Complex PTSD, however what is as of yet unclear is whether Complex PTSD is a result of multiple traumas, or a consequence of traumas occurring at a young age. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of age at first trauma and the number of traumas experienced on symptoms of Complex PTSD. Method Seventy-two individuals with PTSD were recruited from three mental health outpatient services. Participants were administered standardised measures regarding their experiences of traumatic events (THQ) and symptoms of PTSD (PCL) and Complex PTSD (DES, SDQ-5, IIP-25 and BDI-II). Results Age at first trauma was shown to effect interpersonal problems, with the childhood trauma group displaying increased symptoms once the number of traumas experienced was controlled for. Age at first trauma was not related to dissociation, somatisation, PTSD severity or depression. In contrast, the number of traumas experienced was related to PTSD severity, interpersonal problems, dissociation, somatisation and depression. Conclusion The results suggest that the experience of multiple traumas may lead to symptoms of Complex PTSD. With the exception of interpersonal problems, the study suggests that Complex PTSD is a response to the cumulative effect of multiple traumas, rather than a response to traumas occurring in childhood.
Supervisor: Brewin, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available