Associations among disaster exposure, intimate relationship adjustment, and PTSD symptoms: Can disaster exposure enhance a relationship?

Steffany J. Fredman, Candice M. Monson, Jeremiah A. Schumm, Kathryn C. Adair, Casey T. Taft, Patricia A. Resick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined associations among disaster characteristics, relationship adjustment, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology 9 months postdisaster in 205 women exposed to extensive flooding. Bivariately, threat/harm and loss exposure dimensions were related to each other but differentially related to relationship adjustment and PTSD symptoms. Results from structural equation modeling revealed a positive and significant direct association between threat/harm and PTSD symptoms. Conversely, loss was not significantly associated with PTSD symptoms, but was positively and significantly associated with relationship adjustment. Relationship adjustment was negatively and significantly related to PTSD symptoms. These data suggest that some aspects of disaster exposure can have a mobilizing and positive effect on intimate relationships. In turn, positive intimate relationships may buffer individuals against PTSD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-451
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of traumatic stress
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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