Risk and Resilience Factors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorde | 46550

Clinical and Experimental Psychology


Risk and Resilience Factors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Current Research

Morena Lauth-Lebens and Gerhard W. Lauth

Traumatic events can occur among both the military and the civilian population and a small but clinically meaningful subset of trauma-exposed individuals develops a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Essentially, this refers to a pattern of severe negative responses in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

Aim: Despite its event-based aetiology, PTSD is not exclusively and directly caused by a traumatic stressor. As a traumatic event does not invariably result in the expression of PTSD, an understanding of the antecedent conditions is paramount. In recent years, numerous studies have addressed the precipitating and preventive factors of PTSD development and revealed interesting but conflicting data.

Overview: To address the discrepant results, this brief summary attempts to outline the state of research 2006 onwards. By synthesizing results from meta-analyses and systematic reviews, the present work seeks to advance our understanding of vulnerability and resilience mechanisms associated with PTSD susceptibility and expression.

Conclusion: Overall, prior work has consistently implicated posttrauma stressors in the development of PTDS whereas pretrauma variables seem only weakly associated with the disorder. These findings are encouraging, since posttrauma factors might be more adjustable and modifiable than relative static demographic variables. By implication, the dynamic risk factors operating subsequent to trauma might provide an access for targeted interventions. Before extrapolating more specific implication for screening and treatment, the apparent inconsistencies in the extant literature accentuate the need for more standardized and systematic research strategy. Better insights into the predictive and protective factors of PTSD may inform the development of screening tools and preventive interventions for at-risk population.