Multiple traumatic experiences and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder.J Interpers Violence. 2007 Jul; 22(7):932-8.JI
This study assesses the differential and combined impacts of multiple lifetime stressors in the development and severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. One hundred and four clinical and 64 nonclinical participants were assessed for their exposure to four types of interpersonal trauma: physical and sexual abuse in childhood, lifetime community violence, and domestic violence in adulthood. PTSD symptomatology was assessed using the Los Angeles Symptom Checklist (LASC). Results indicated that exposure to lifetime multiple traumatic experiences was positively correlated with severity of PTSD symptoms. Clinical participants had experienced significantly more multiple traumas and had a higher rate of PTSD than the nonclinical participants. Results also suggested that adults who had experienced childhood sexual abuse were at higher risk for the development of PTSD related to interpersonal violence than adults who were not sexually abused as children.