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Keywords:

  • causal attribution;
  • attributional style;
  • locus of control;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

Abstract

Although exposure to a traumatic event is thought to be the main aetiological factor in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD: APA, 1987), a large amount of individual variance in the chronicity and severity of symptoms remains unaccounted for. In this paper, evidence will be reviewed for the possible mediating role of causal attributions and attributional style. It is suggested that these factors may be related to specific emotional states within PTSD and to particular coping behaviors.