Gender differences in responses to traumatic events: A prospective study

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Abstract

Gender differences in psychological responses to motor vehicle accidents were examined as part of a large-scale prospective study of PTSD. Participants were recruited from an emergency room (n = 275) and interviewed 1 week. 1 month, and 4 months later. No gender differences were seen in the prevalence or recovery from PTSD, or in symptom levels at 1- and 4 months. Women had a higher prevalence of lifetime- and postaccident generalized anxiety disorder. Gender differences were found regarding the type, but not the total number, of potentially traumatic events previously experienced. These results suggest that gender differences in responses to traumatic events are not explained by exposure as such, but rather may result from gender-specific attrubutes of the event.

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