Partial support was provided by a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (PSI2008–01803/PSIC) and a grant from the Andalusian County Council (Proyectos Excelencia Junta de Andalucía, P07-SEJ-3067). Part of the research was conducted when the fist author was supported by a predoctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Innovation (FPU, AP2005-1629. 2007–2010 National Scientific Research, Technologic Development, and Innovation). This work has been also supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research operating grant (MOP-PSD-178753–49284) held by G. J. G. Asmundson.
Trauma Exposure and Health: The Role of Depressive and Hyperarousal Symptoms
Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
Copyright © 2012 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Volume 25, Issue 6, pages 641–648, December 2012
How to Cite
Pérez, L. G., Abrams, M. P., López-Martínez, A. E. and Asmundson, G. J. G. (2012), Trauma Exposure and Health: The Role of Depressive and Hyperarousal Symptoms. J. Traum. Stress, 25: 641–648. doi: 10.1002/jts.21762
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms have been theorized to mediate the relationship between trauma exposure and physical health symptoms. Although empirical evidence supports this premise, studies conducted to date have employed statistical mediation analyses that are now broadly criticized. Furthermore, the mediating roles of both PTSD and depressive symptoms have seldom been examined concurrently, and it remains unclear which PTSD symptom clusters uniquely mediate this relationship. The aim of the present study was to examine the mediating role of reexperiencing, avoidance/numbing, hyperarousal, and depressive symptoms in the relationship between trauma exposure and physical health symptoms. Participants were 516 Spanish female undergraduate students. Physical health symptoms were compared between those who reported trauma exposure (n = 266) and those who did not (n = 250). Data from trauma-exposed participants were analyzed using regression models with bootstrapping to test mediation. Results of the analyses showed that the trauma-exposed group reported significantly more physical health symptoms (r2 = .035). Hyperarousal and depressive symptoms uniquely mediated the relationship between trauma exposure and physical health symptoms. Our findings clarify some of the mechanisms by which negative health consequences occur subsequent to trauma exposure.