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Keywords:

  • PTSD;
  • recovery process;
  • social support;
  • questionnaire validation;
  • political prisoners

Abstract

The development and validation of a new measure of social acknowledgment as a victim or survivor is presented, whose items were derived from previous research on social recovery factors of post-traumatic stress disorder. The Social Acknowledgment Questionnaire (SAQ) was administered to nontreatment seeking traumatized persons—178 former political prisoners in East Germany and 151 recently traumatized interpersonal crime victims. Principal components analysis yielded three factors—Recognition as victim, General disapproval, and Family disapproval. The factors showed high internal consistency and good test-retest reliability; correlated moderately to strong with measures of PTSD severity, social support, and reluctance to talk about the trauma. In comparison to a conventional measure of social support, the SAQ predicted comparably better between persons with high- and low-PTSD severity.