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Trauma, PTSD and personality: the relationship between prolonged traumatisation and personality impairment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, Vol. 22, no 3, 331-340 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with personality impairments involving externalized and internalized psychopathology. This study has explored the association between PTSD symptoms as consequences of prolonged torture experiences or early childhood trauma exposure and personality traits.

Method: One hundred and sixty-one men were included: 36 Iraqi men refugees (mean age = 43.9, SD = 8.7) who had longstanding torture experiences as adults; 42 Swedish prisoners (mean age = 33.8, SD = 7), with early childhood trauma exposure; 31 Arab men refugees (mean age = 41.8, SD = 8.9) without self-reported torture or violence experiences; 52 non-traumatized Swedish males (mean age = 39.3, SD = 5.5). They were assessed for symptoms of PTSD or PTSD hypothetical clusters. Personality profile was assessed by the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP). Factor analysis with varimax rotation was conducted and yielded three factors: externalized, internalized and avoidance domains.

Results: Individuals who suffered prolonged torture experiences or had early childhood trauma exposure showed impaired personality profiles in internalized and externalized domains. Individuals with or without PTSD showed significant differences p < 0.05 concerning: internalized, externalized and avoidance. anova and post-hoc analysis according to Scheffé showed that the prolonged torture group > early childhood trauma exposure > nontraumatized group.

Conclusion: Prolonged torture experiences or early trauma exposure may impair personality formation by enhancing the effects of cognitive, affective and behavioural vulnerabilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 22, no 3, 331-340 p.
Keyword [en]
childhood trauma, prolonged traumatisation, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-14105DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1471-6712.2007.00532.xISI: 000258582100003OAI: diva2:180625
Available from: 2008-11-03 Created: 2008-11-03 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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af Klinteberg, Britt
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