Self-esteem, personality and post traumatic stress symptoms following the dissolution of a dating relationship



The present study aimed to ascertain the extent to which people, following the dissolution of a dating relationship, experienced post traumatic stress symptoms. It also aimed to investigate the relationship between post traumatic stress and self-esteem and personality. The hypotheses were that there would be a severe degree of post traumatic stress symptoms experienced by the present samples, and that the personality factor, in particular, neuroticism, and low self-esteem would be associated with the samples' post traumatic stress symptoms. Sixty heterosexual subjects who had experienced a romantic relationship dissolution over the past 24 months were recruited for the study. They were interviewed with the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28), the Self-Esteem Rating Scale (SERS) and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-R Short Scale (EPQ-R). The results showed that 72 per cent of the subjects scored at or above the high IES symptom cut-off. Forty-three per cent scored above the cut-off of the GHQ-28. Significant correlations were found between the impact of the dissolution and general health. The present subjects were significantly less extroverted and neurotic than the standardized samples. Stepwise regression analyses showed that negative self-esteem significantly predicted avoidance and the total general health, and that neuroticism significantly predicted the total impact of the dissolution. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.