Interpersonal trauma (IPT) against women can have dire psychological consequences including persistent maladaptive changes in the subjective experience of affect. Contemporary literature has firmly established heightened negative affect (NA) as a risk and maintenance factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the relationship between NA and PTSD symptoms is not well understood within IPT survivors, the majority of whom are female, as much of this research has focused on combat veterans. In addition, the connection between positive affect (PA) and PTSD symptoms has yet to be examined. With increased emphasis on “negative alterations in cognitions and mood..” as an independent symptom cluster of PTSD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5), understanding the relationship between self-reported affectivity and the classic PTSD symptom clusters may be increasingly useful in differentiating symptom presentations of trauma-related psychopathology. The current study directly compared self-reported trait NA and PA with total severity and frequency cluster scores from the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) in 54 female survivors of IPT who met criteria for PTSD. Results identify NA (but not PA) as a consistent predictor of total PTSD symptoms and, specifically, re-experiencing symptoms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Applied Psychology