Trauma history characteristics and subsequent PTSD symptoms in motor vehicle accident victims


  • Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH62042).


The present study examined the relationship between trauma history characteristics (number and type of traumas, age at first trauma, and subjective responses to prior traumas) and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms following a motor vehicle accident (MVA). One hundred eighty-eight adult MVA victims provided information about prior traumatization and were evaluated for PTSD symptoms 6 weeks and one year following the MVA. Results indicated that after controlling for demographics and depression, prior trauma history characteristics accounted for a small, but significant amount of the variance in PTSD symptoms. Distress from prior trauma and number of types of prior traumas were the most meaningful trauma history predictors. Results encourage further evaluation of trauma history as a multifaceted construct.