Gender differences and posttraumatic stress disorder: the role of trauma type and frequency of exposure

Author(s)Gehrke, Anne and John M. Violanti
Title Gender differences and posttraumatic stress disorder: the role of trauma type and frequency of exposure
Source Traumatology, September 2006, Vol. 12, No 3, pp 229-235
Date 2006
Document type Journal article
Coverage
Summary This study explores the hypothesis that types and increased frequencies of certain traumas lead to increased risks for PTSD and the level of risk is different between males and females. For the study a sample of police officers were asked about the type and frequencies of trauma they had experienced in their work over the previous year and their stress reactions were measured using the Impact of Event Scale. It was found that generally male and female officers were exposed to most types of incidents equally. There were some differences in the frequencies of exposure to trauma types, such as the frequency of seeing abused children was twice as high for male officers as female officers. No gender differences were found in perceived social support, instrumental support or social interaction. The authors conclude that the reasons for a higher prevalence of PTSD in women remain unclear but the findings from this study indicate that the type of trauma as well as frequency is important in terms of vulnerability and coping.
Keywords Trauma; PTSD; risk; gender differences.
Topic Psychological effects and treatment