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Title:Sexual Harassment -Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: An Investigation of Symptom Structure and Criterion A
Author(s):Palmieri, Patrick Anthony
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fitzgerald, Louise F.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:This study addressed three basic, controversial issues regarding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). First, what is the factor structure of PTSD? The DSM-IV employs a 3-factor model with re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptom clusters, but recent research suggests that a 4-factor model provides better model-data fit. Second, what constitutes a potential trauma (Criterion A1)? Does it need to be a high-magnitude event (e.g., rape), or can low-magnitude events (e.g., sexual harassment) precipitate PTSD? Third, should an intense emotional response to an event be required for a PTSD diagnosis (Criterion A2)? These questions were addressed in a survey of women in a class action sexual harassment lawsuit. Results showed that (1) a 4-factor model that differentiates avoidance and emotional numbing symptoms provides a better model-data fit than the 3-factor model, (2) a low-magnitude event like sexual harassment correlates moderately strongly with symptom clusters and can lead to symptom levels that meet diagnostic criteria, and (3) variance in psychological, health, and job outcomes is largely a function of symptom status, not of Criterion A2 status; thus, requiring an intense emotional response to an event results in misdiagnosing a subset of true PTSD cases.
Issue Date:2002
Description:113 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3044196
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2002

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