Dr. Koenen is supported by US-NIMH K08 MH070627 and MH078928. This research was also supported in part by grants from US-NIMH (MH49467 and MH58386) and the National Institute of Justice (86-IJ-CX-0033 and 89-IJ-CX-0007) to Dr. Widom.
A prospective study of sex differences in the lifetime risk of posttraumatic stress disorder among abused and neglected children grown up†
Version of Record online: 20 NOV 2009
Copyright © 2009 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Special Issue: Special Section: Innovations in Trauma Research Methods, 2008
Volume 22, Issue 6, pages 566–574, December 2009
How to Cite
Koenen, K. C. and Widom, C. S. (2009), A prospective study of sex differences in the lifetime risk of posttraumatic stress disorder among abused and neglected children grown up. J. Traum. Stress, 22: 566–574. doi: 10.1002/jts.20478
- Issue online: 21 DEC 2009
- Version of Record online: 20 NOV 2009
In the general population, women's lifetime risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is twice that of men's. However, evidence is contradictory as to whether this sex difference is present among child abuse/neglect victims. The authors examined sex differences in PTSD among a sample of 674 individuals with documented child abuse/neglect histories assessed for PTSD in adulthood. Across all types of abuse/neglect, women were more than twice as likely to develop PTSD as men. The sex difference was greatest among sexual abuse victims. Female victims' greater revictimization explained a substantial proportion (39%) of the sex differences in PTSD risk. Future research should identify mechanisms that make female victims particularly vulnerable to revictimization and the development of PTSD.