Experiential avoidance, peritraumatic dissociation, and post-traumatic stress disorder

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APA Citation: 

Marx, B. P., & Sloan, D. M. (2005). Experiential avoidance, peritraumatic dissociation, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, 569-583.

Type of Publication: 
ACT: Empirical
Abstract: 

This study examined whether peritraumatic dissociation serves as a proxy risk factor for experiential avoidance in its relationship with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology. One hundred eighty-five trauma survivors completed measures that assessed for peritraumatic dissociation, experiential avoidance, and PTSD symptom severity. The results indicated that peritraumatic dissociation and experiential avoidance were significantly related to PTSD symptomatology at baseline. However, after initial levels of PTSD symptomatology were taken into account, only experiential avoidance was related to PTSD symptoms both 4- and 8-weeks later. These results indicate that peritraumatic dissociation is not a proxy risk factor for experiential avoidance and contributes to the growing body of literature indicating that experiential avoidance is an important factor related to the psychological symptoms experienced by trauma survivors.

Comments: 
185 trauma survivors were assessed for peritraumatic dissociation, experiential avoidance (using the AAQ), and PTSD symptom severity. Both peritraumatic dissociation and experiential avoidance were significantly related to PTSD symptoms at baseline. After the initial levels of PTSD was taken into account, only experiential avoidance was related to PTSD symptoms both 4- and 8-weeks later.
Key Words: 
Trauma; Posttraumatic stress; Dissociation; Avoidance
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