The goal of the present proposal is to examine the link between event characteristics and specific outcomes. Similarities and differences in outcomes will be examined across four types of traumatic events: sexual assault, physical assault, traumatic injury, and traumatic bereavement. Approximately 8000 second year college women from four campuses will be screened by mail for demographics, trauma history, and recent life events. A subgroup will be further screened by phone. 350 responders will be assigned to one of four single trauma groups (if they have experienced one episode of one of the types of trauma under investigation), one of two ongoing trauma groups (sexual abuse or physical abuse) or a no-trauma group, with all stratified by the timing of the trauma (childhood vs. adolescence) and by ethnicity (African American vs. Caucasian). Subjects will fill out self-report inventories assessing social functioning, dissociation symptoms, stress response symptoms, somatization symptoms, coping strategies, fear of intimacy, loneliness, trust and self-esteem, medical conditions, and sexual behavior. They will also be administered ac complete SCID, and an interview assessing borderline traits, details of trauma history, and health care utilization. Data analyses will evaluate differences in outcomes based on trauma type, and several dimensions pertinent across traumas. One set of hypotheses compares all single episode trauma survivors to the no trauma group; a second set examines type of outcome by type of trauma experience; and a third set addresses the dimensions of age at time of trauma, and whether the trauma was single or an ongoing experience. Differences in outcomes and associations will also be tested by ethnicity. Exploratory analyses will examine differences in coping styles produced by trauma type, relationship between victim and perpetrator, objective and subjective severity, and timing and nature of disclosure. The study is expected to contribute to the understanding of various types and dimensions of traumatic events and how they affect outcome, which will help provide the basis for more event-specific treatment strategies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Violence and Traumatic Stress Review Committee (VTS)
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Georgetown University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Ford, Julian D; Stockton, Patricia; Kaltman, Stacey et al. (2006) Disorders of extreme stress (DESNOS) symptoms are associated with type and severity of interpersonal trauma exposure in a sample of healthy young women. J Interpers Violence 21:1399-416
Green, Bonnie L; Krupnick, Janice L; Stockton, Patricia et al. (2005) Effects of adolescent trauma exposure on risky behavior in college women. Psychiatry 68:363-78
Green, B L; Goodman, L A; Krupnick, J L et al. (2000) Outcomes of single versus multiple trauma exposure in a screening sample. J Trauma Stress 13:271-86