By Anna Johns, Psychology; Miguel Nunez (with tilde over second "n"), University of Cincinnati; Jacob Feldman, University of Cincinnati; Jacob Habib, University of Cincinnati; Farrah Jacquez, University of Cincinnati
Advisor: Miguel Nu?ez
Abstract: Crime, including physical or sexual assault, theft, and burglary, often results in psychological distress for the victim. Specifically, there is a large pool of research that has found crime victims tend to develop posttraumatic stress (Kessler, Sonnega, Bromet, Hughes, & Nelson, 1995; Walters, Bisson, & Shepherd, 2006). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is characterized by four symptom clusters: intrusions, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The type of crime affects the likelihood of developing PTSD. For example, previous research demonstrates that certain types of crime, like burglary, are less correlated with PTSD (Wohlfarth, Winkel, & van de Brink, 2002) and different types of crime may elicit different symptomatology severity (Riggs, Rothbaum, & Foa, 1995). Given this variety, it is also possible that individualsÕ cluster symptoms may vary based on the type of crime. Yet, no previous research study has previously assessed these potential associations. The aim of the present study is to identify the relations between three of the PTSD cluster symptoms and different types of crime victimization, such as being a victim of theft, sexual assault, or aggravated assault. The identification and awareness of trauma symptoms may provide the foundation for future research to provide specialized treatment for victimized individuals. By targeting the specific symptoms that an individual is more likely to experience, the individual may benefit from more prompt and individualized intervention rather than a generalized treatment plan.