Feelings of revenge, retaliation motive, and posttraumatic stress reactions in crime victims

Author(s)Orth, Ulrich, Montada, Leo and Andreas Maeroker
Title Feelings of revenge, retaliation motive, and posttraumatic stress reactions in crime victims
Source Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Vol 21, No.2, Feb 2006, pp 229-243
Date 2006
Document type Journal article
Coverage Germany
Summary This study was part of a larger research project on the psychological consequences of criminal proceedings among victims of crime. There were three main objectives from this study. In relation to the first objective it was found that feelings of revenge in victims of violent crime correlate at a medium level with posttraumatic intrusion and hyperarousal but not with posttraumatic stress. Testing the second objective found that the strength of the retaliation motive did not correlate with posttraumatic stress reactions and did not mediate the relations between feelings of revenge and posttraumatic stress reactions. it was not the retaliation motive implied in feelings of revenge that accounts for the relation but other factors are responsible. A third finding was that in the first period after a victimisation feelings of revenge are not a maladaptive coping reaction to the experience of injustice and it is only with increasing time that these feelings of revenge may become more maladaptive. The limitations of the study are discussed and recommendations for future research are identified, such as investigating the role of feelings of revenge in the treatment of PTSD.
Keywords Psychological effects; PTSD; revenge; retaliation; stress
Topic Psychological effects and treatment