This application describes a comprehensive research project designed to systematically and prospectively examine the relationship between peritraumatic psychophysiological responses to traumatic stress and subsequent posttraumatic distress and psychopathology. Previous research has demonstrated altered neuroendocrine levels in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients, and researchers have hypothesized that trauma victims who subsequently develop PTSD may differ during their initial responses to the trauma from those victims who do not develop PTSD. This suggests that certain victims may be predisposed to developing PTSD after a traumatic event. However, these hypotheses have not been tested. The proposed research will examine serious motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims during their stay in the hospital, and repeatedly after the accident. Urinary hormone levels and acute-phase posttraumatic psychological responses will be used to test if patients who do and do not develop acute stress disorder (ASD) or PTSD differ in psychophysiological reactivity to the accident. Further, the effects of traumatic stress and PTSD on chronic alterations in neuroendocrine and immune levels will be assessed. Finally, as PTSD is more common in those with a history of psychopathology and/or prior trauma experience, the proposed research will test whether peritraumatic responding to the MVA mediates the relationship between prior trauma history and subsequent PTSD.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-2 (01))
Program Officer
Tuma, Farris K
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Kent State University at Kent
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Hruska, Bryce; Irish, Leah A; Pacella, Maria L et al. (2014) PTSD symptom severity and psychiatric comorbidity in recent motor vehicle accident victims: a latent class analysis. J Anxiety Disord 28:644-9
Hruska, Bryce; Cullen, Patrick K; Delahanty, Douglas L (2014) Pharmacological modulation of acute trauma memories to prevent PTSD: considerations from a developmental perspective. Neurobiol Learn Mem 112:122-9
Irish, Leah A; Gabert-Quillen, Crystal A; Ciesla, Jeffrey A et al. (2013) An examination of PTSD symptoms as a mediator of the relationship between trauma history characteristics and physical health following a motor vehicle accident. Depress Anxiety 30:475-82
Gabert-Quillen, Crystal A; Irish, Leah A; Sledjeski, Eve et al. (2012) The Impact of Social Support on the Relationship between Trauma History and PTSD Symptoms in Motor Vehicle Accident Victims. Int J Stress Manag 19:69-79
Pacella, Maria L; Irish, Leah; Ostrowski, Sarah A et al. (2011) Avoidant coping as a mediator between peritraumatic dissociation and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. J Trauma Stress 24:317-25
Irish, Leah A; Fischer, Beth; Fallon, William et al. (2011) Gender differences in PTSD symptoms: an exploration of peritraumatic mechanisms. J Anxiety Disord 25:209-16
Kobayashi, Ihori; Sledjeski, Eve; Fallon Jr, William et al. (2011) Effects of early albuterol (salbutamol) administration on the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Psychiatry Res 185:296-8
Hruska, Bryce; Fallon, William; Spoonster, Eileen et al. (2011) Alcohol use disorder history moderates the relationship between avoidance coping and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Psychol Addict Behav 25:405-14
Kobayashi, Ihori; Sledjeski, Eve M; Spoonster, Eileen et al. (2008) Effects of early nightmares on the development of sleep disturbances in motor vehicle accident victims. J Trauma Stress 21:548-55
Irish, Leah; Ostrowski, Sarah A; Fallon, William et al. (2008) Trauma history characteristics and subsequent PTSD symptoms in motor vehicle accident victims. J Trauma Stress 21:377-84

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