This study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (F31AA020698 and AA016213).
A Test of Adolescent Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms as Prospective Predictors of Type of Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Article first published online: 5 NOV 2012
Copyright © 2012 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Volume 25, Issue 6, pages 691–699, December 2012
How to Cite
Haller, M. and Chassin, L. (2012), A Test of Adolescent Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms as Prospective Predictors of Type of Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. J. Traum. Stress, 25: 691–699. doi: 10.1002/jts.21751
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 5 NOV 2012
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Grant Numbers: F31AA020698, AA016213
The present study utilized longitudinal data from a high-risk community sample (N = 377; 166 trauma-exposed; 202 males; 175 females; 73% non-Hispanic Caucasian) to test pretrauma measures of adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms as unique prospective predictors of type of trauma exposure and PTSD over and above the influence of correlated family adversity (a composite of family conflict, stress, and parental psychopathology). Data were analyzed with logistic and multinomial logistic regressions. Results indicated that females, but not males, with higher levels of internalizing (OR = 2.91) and externalizing (OR = 2.37) symptoms during adolescence were significantly more likely to be exposed to assaultive violence (over and above family adversity). In fact, males with higher levels of internalizing symptoms were significantly less likely to be exposed to assaultive violence (OR = 0.54). Neither internalizing nor externalizing symptoms uniquely predicted exposure to traumatic events that did not involve assaultive violence. Among trauma-exposed participants, the unique association between internalizing symptoms and later PTSD yielded an odds ratio of 1.79 (p = .07) over and above the influences of family adversity, type of trauma exposure, and gender. Assaultive violence exposure fully mediated the association between females’ externalizing symptoms and future PTSD. Findings may help inform the prevention of both assaultive violence exposure and PTSD.