Family Environment and the Incidence of Post Traumatic Stress

Purves, D. and Erwin, P. (2001) Family Environment and the Incidence of Post Traumatic Stress. Annual Conference, British Psychological Society, Glasgow.

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Objectives: This study examined the extent to which the occurrence of post-traumatic stress (PTS) was associated with aspects of the individual’s family environment. It was predicted that a positive, supportive family environment may be associated with a lower incidence of PTS in a student population. Design: A questionnaire study. Method: Participants were an opportunity sample of 123 female and 77 male students in higher education. Each participant completed a copy of the Family Environment Scale (FES) and the Watson et al. (1991) PTSD-I questionnaire, which closely mirrors DSM IV criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Results: The initial analysis was by means of a 2 (sex) x 2 (PTS vs. PTS) analysis of variance. There was a significant interaction effect (F(1,196) = 7.23, p<.01). Males classified with PTS had much lower FES scores than males classified as non-PTS. There were no differences in FES scores between the female PTS and nonPTS groups. Further analyses examine the relationship between specific aspects of family environment measured by the FES and their relation to PTS classification. Conclusions: Consideration is given to the idea that positive family environments may buffer against PTS for males. As research typically indicates that females have closer, more intimate relationships than males, this general pattern of female relationships might mean that they are less vulnerable to poor family relationships which could otherwise give vulnerability to traumatising events

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Psychology
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2010 13:03

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