Relationship Between Trauma Narratives and Trauma Pathology

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In this study we examined the relationship between posttrauma pathology and the level of articulation (complexity) in rape narratives recounted by victims shortly after the assault. Degree of articulation was operationalized as the reading level of the narratives as determined by a computer program. Shortly after the trauma, reading level was correlated with severity of anxiety but not with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Degree of the narrative articulation shortly after the trauma, however, was related to severity of later PTSD. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the less developed trauma narratives hinder recovery from trauma.

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