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Peritraumatic dissociation and experiential avoidance as predictors of posttraumatic stress symptomatology

Brian P. Marx and Denise M. Sloan

Revue : Behaviour Research and Therapy

This study examined whether peritraumatic dissociation serves as a proxy risk factor for experiential avoidance in its relationship with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology. One hundred eighty-five trauma survivors completed measures that assessed for peritraumatic dissociation, experiential avoidance, and PTSD symptom severity. The results indicated that peritraumatic dissociation and experiential avoidance were significantly related to PTSD symptomatology at baseline. However, after initial levels of PTSD symptomatology were taken into account, only experiential avoidance was related to PTSD symptoms both 4- and 8-weeks later. These results indicate that peritraumatic dissociation is not a proxy risk factor for experiential avoidance and contributes to the growing body of literature indicating that experiential avoidance is an important factor related to the psychological symptoms experienced by trauma survivors.

Keywords: Trauma; Posttraumatic stress; Dissociation; Avoidance


A Temple University Research Incentive Fund award and Faculty Summer Fellowship awarded to Brian P. Marx supported this study.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-215-204-1553; fax: +1-215-204-5539

Behaviour Research and Therapy - Volume 43, Issue 5, Pages 569-583 (May 2005)

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