Category: PTSD

Symposium

Ethnoracial Differences in Trauma-Related Cognitions in Treatment-Seeking Active Duty Military Personnel for PTSD

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Stress | Race / Ethnicity | Cognitive Biases / Distortions
Presentation Type: Symposium

As recognized by the convention theme, diversity is an important consideration in the delivery of successful trauma-focused treatment. Ethnoracial variations in values, norms, and trauma exposure may manifest in post-traumatic cognitions that are essential to target in successful trauma-focused CBT. The purpose of this study was to shed light on ethnoracial variation in the presentation of PTSD symptoms, trauma-related cognitions, and emotions among treatment-seeking active duty military personnel. Participants were 303 male active duty military members with PTSD participating in a clinical trial (60% were self-identified as White, 19% as African American, and 21% as Hispanic/Latino). In the parent study, participants completed a baseline assessment that included clinician-administered and self-report measures of PTSD, trauma-related cognitions, and emotions. Multivariate hierarchical regression models were used to examine ethnoracial differences in these variables, covarying age, education, military grade, combat exposure, and exposure to other potentially traumatic events.  Resulted found ethnoracial differences in trauma-related cognitions, with both Hispanic/Latino and African American individuals being more likely to cope with stressful events through rumination and putting events into perspective, and less likely to blame others relative to White service members. Also, consistent with previous findings (Williams et al., 2012) in civilian samples, African American service members with PTSD endorsed greater negative cognitions about the world compared to the other two groups, which may be related to the fact that African Americans with PTSD may expect to be treated unfairly and have a history of increased exposure to violence and discrimination (Alim et al., 2006). Contrary to what was expected, service members of color did not show greater self-blame about the trauma or negative cognitions about the self than Whites. These findings suggest ethnoracial variation in posttraumatic cognitions among treatment-seeking service members with PTSD. Attending to cultural factors related to differences in PTSD presentation and cognitive coping strategies during the assessment and treatment process could increase rapport and lead to more comprehensive trauma processing.

Brittany N. Hall-Clark

Assistant Professor
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

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Ethnoracial Differences in Trauma-Related Cognitions in Treatment-Seeking Active Duty Military Personnel for PTSD



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