Disclosure and social acknowledgement as predictors of recovery from posttraumatic stress: a longitudinal study in crime victims

Author(s)Mueller, Julia, Hanspeter Moergeli and Andreas Macreker
Title Disclosure and social acknowledgement as predictors of recovery from posttraumatic stress: a longitudinal study in crime victims
Source The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry,March 2008, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp 160-168
Date 2008
Document type Journal article
Coverage Germany
Summary This study examines the influence of victims' attitudes toward disclosure and their perceptions of social acknowledgement on recovery from posttraumatic stress. The study participants were recruited anonymously through the WR crime victims support organisation in Germany. The first stage assessed participants at approximately five months after the crime and the second round of assessments were scheduled six months after the first. A number of instruments were used in the questionnaire, including the TES-R German version, the TEI and SAQ and participants were requested to respond to items as they pertained to their crime experience. The authors concluded that the results of this longitudinal study show that disclosure attitudes and social acknowledgement are able to prospectively predict the course of PTSD symptom severity. Individuals with a higher need to talk about the trauma, and those who were more reluctant to disclose their experience showed higher PTSD severity. It was also found that disapproval from family and social environment was related to higher PTSD symptoms.
Keywords PTSD; posttraumatic stress disorder; disclosure; social acknowledgement
Topic Psychological effects and treatment