(provided by candidate): It is hypothesized that fragmentation, or a lack of processing, coherence, and integration in a trauma narrative, is critical to the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of PTSD. Fragmentation is hypothesized to lead to PTSD symptoms, while emotional and cognitive processing of the trauma narrative is thought necessary for successful PTSD recovery. Theories asserting the importance of fragmentation to PTSD are based on the notions that trauma narratives are unique and that fragmentation is defining of PTSD. The studies proposed here will explore fragmentation in negative, positive, and trauma narratives in PTSD and non-PTSD individuals. The goals of the proposed research are to investigate fragmentation as it relates to trauma narratives, PTSD symptoms, and therapeutic recovery. Specifically, Study 1 will examine fragmentation by narrative type to investigate fragmentation as uniquely characteristic of trauma narratives. In addition, it will extend the above narrative analysis to four samples, PTSD, trauma-exposed no PTSD, panic disorder, and no psychopathology individuals, to investigate fragmentation as unique to PTSD diagnosis. Study 2 will investigate the effects of PTSD treatment modality and treatment response on fragmentation by comparing narrative organization outcomes for sertraline and prolonged exposure. These studies will inform the relationship of fragmentation to type of emotional narrative, PTSD diagnosis and PTSD recovery, and results may impact current treatment emphases. ? ?
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