• PTSD;
  • emotional responding;
  • facial expression


Although posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined by the experience of intense negative emotions and emotional numbing (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), empirical study of emotional responding in PTSD has been limited. This study examined emotional responding among women with and without PTSD to positive and negative film stimuli across self-reported experience, facial expression, and written expression. Consistent with previous findings, no evidence for generalized numbing was found. In general, women with PTSD exhibited higher levels of negative activation and expressed more negative emotion words to both positive and negative film stimuli, whereas no group differences emerged in facial expressivity. Results are interpreted within the context of the current literature on emotional deficits associated with PTSD.