- Emotion regulation difficulties in trauma survivors: the role of trauma type and PTSD symptom severity
- Behavior Therapy
- Volume | Issue number
- 41 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Two different hypotheses regarding the relationship between emotion regulation and PTSD are described in the literature. First, it has been suggested that emotion regulation difficulties are part of the complex sequelae of early-onset chronic interpersonal trauma and less common following late-onset or single-event traumas. Second, PTSD in general has been suggested to be related to emotion regulation difficulties. Bringing these two lines of research together, the current study aimed to investigate the role of trauma type and PTSD symptom severity on emotion regulation difficulties in a large sample of trauma survivors (N = 616). In line with the hypotheses, PTSD symptom severity was significantly associated with all variables assessing emotion regulation difficulties. In addition, survivors of early-onset chronic interpersonal trauma showed higher scores on these measures than survivors of single-event and/or late-onset traumas. However, when controlling for PTSD symptom severity, the group differences only remained significant for 2 out of 9 variables. The most robust findings were found for the variable "lack of clarity of emotions." Implications for future research, theoretical models of trauma-related disorders, and their treatment will be discussed.
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