Limits...
Accounting for sex differences in PTSD: A multi-variable mediation model.

Christiansen DM, Hansen M - Eur J Psychotraumatol (2015)

Bottom Line: Prior studies have generally focused on few potential mediators at a time and have often used methods that were not ideally suited to test for mediation effects.These variables were included in the model as potential mediators.The results are relevant to other trauma populations and to other trauma-related psychiatric disorders more prevalent in females, such as depression and anxiety.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Demark; National Centre for Psychotraumatology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark; dochristiansen@health.sdu.dk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Approximately twice as many females as males are diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, little is known about why females report more PTSD symptoms than males. Prior studies have generally focused on few potential mediators at a time and have often used methods that were not ideally suited to test for mediation effects. Prior research has identified a number of individual risk factors that may contribute to sex differences in PTSD severity, although these cannot fully account for the increased symptom levels in females when examined individually.

Objective: The present study is the first to systematically test the hypothesis that a combination of pre-, peri-, and posttraumatic risk factors more prevalent in females can account for sex differences in PTSD severity.

Method: The study was a quasi-prospective questionnaire survey assessing PTSD and related variables in 73.3% of all Danish bank employees exposed to bank robbery during the period from April 2010 to April 2011. Participants filled out questionnaires 1 week (T1, N=450) and 6 months after the robbery (T2, N=368; 61.1% females). Mediation was examined using an analysis designed specifically to test a multiple mediator model.

Results: Females reported more PTSD symptoms than males and higher levels of neuroticism, depression, physical anxiety sensitivity, peritraumatic fear, horror, and helplessness (the A2 criterion), tonic immobility, panic, dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions about self and the world, and feeling let down. These variables were included in the model as potential mediators. The combination of risk factors significantly mediated the association between sex and PTSD severity, accounting for 83% of the association.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that females report more PTSD symptoms because they experience higher levels of associated risk factors. The results are relevant to other trauma populations and to other trauma-related psychiatric disorders more prevalent in females, such as depression and anxiety.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Illustration of a multiple mediation model of sex differences in PTSD. Path c represents the total effect. Path c′ represents the direct effect. Paths a + b represent the indirect effect of sex on PTSD through the mediators. The strength of the mediation is the difference between c and c′. Mediation occurs when path c is statistically significant but becomes non-significant after adjusting for the mediators, resulting in a non-significant path c′.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4300366&req=5

Figure 0001: Illustration of a multiple mediation model of sex differences in PTSD. Path c represents the total effect. Path c′ represents the direct effect. Paths a + b represent the indirect effect of sex on PTSD through the mediators. The strength of the mediation is the difference between c and c′. Mediation occurs when path c is statistically significant but becomes non-significant after adjusting for the mediators, resulting in a non-significant path c′.

Mentions: Only risk factors more prevalent in females were potential mediators. Thus, the variables included in the mediation analysis were neuroticism, depression, physical anxiety sensitivity, peritraumatic fear, horror, and helplessness, tonic immobility, panic, dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions about self and the world, and feeling let down. An illustration of the mediation model is shown in Fig. 1.


Accounting for sex differences in PTSD: A multi-variable mediation model.

Christiansen DM, Hansen M - Eur J Psychotraumatol (2015)

Illustration of a multiple mediation model of sex differences in PTSD. Path c represents the total effect. Path c′ represents the direct effect. Paths a + b represent the indirect effect of sex on PTSD through the mediators. The strength of the mediation is the difference between c and c′. Mediation occurs when path c is statistically significant but becomes non-significant after adjusting for the mediators, resulting in a non-significant path c′.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4300366&req=5

Figure 0001: Illustration of a multiple mediation model of sex differences in PTSD. Path c represents the total effect. Path c′ represents the direct effect. Paths a + b represent the indirect effect of sex on PTSD through the mediators. The strength of the mediation is the difference between c and c′. Mediation occurs when path c is statistically significant but becomes non-significant after adjusting for the mediators, resulting in a non-significant path c′.
Mentions: Only risk factors more prevalent in females were potential mediators. Thus, the variables included in the mediation analysis were neuroticism, depression, physical anxiety sensitivity, peritraumatic fear, horror, and helplessness, tonic immobility, panic, dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions about self and the world, and feeling let down. An illustration of the mediation model is shown in Fig. 1.

Bottom Line: Prior studies have generally focused on few potential mediators at a time and have often used methods that were not ideally suited to test for mediation effects.These variables were included in the model as potential mediators.The results are relevant to other trauma populations and to other trauma-related psychiatric disorders more prevalent in females, such as depression and anxiety.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Demark; National Centre for Psychotraumatology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark; dochristiansen@health.sdu.dk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Approximately twice as many females as males are diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, little is known about why females report more PTSD symptoms than males. Prior studies have generally focused on few potential mediators at a time and have often used methods that were not ideally suited to test for mediation effects. Prior research has identified a number of individual risk factors that may contribute to sex differences in PTSD severity, although these cannot fully account for the increased symptom levels in females when examined individually.

Objective: The present study is the first to systematically test the hypothesis that a combination of pre-, peri-, and posttraumatic risk factors more prevalent in females can account for sex differences in PTSD severity.

Method: The study was a quasi-prospective questionnaire survey assessing PTSD and related variables in 73.3% of all Danish bank employees exposed to bank robbery during the period from April 2010 to April 2011. Participants filled out questionnaires 1 week (T1, N=450) and 6 months after the robbery (T2, N=368; 61.1% females). Mediation was examined using an analysis designed specifically to test a multiple mediator model.

Results: Females reported more PTSD symptoms than males and higher levels of neuroticism, depression, physical anxiety sensitivity, peritraumatic fear, horror, and helplessness (the A2 criterion), tonic immobility, panic, dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions about self and the world, and feeling let down. These variables were included in the model as potential mediators. The combination of risk factors significantly mediated the association between sex and PTSD severity, accounting for 83% of the association.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that females report more PTSD symptoms because they experience higher levels of associated risk factors. The results are relevant to other trauma populations and to other trauma-related psychiatric disorders more prevalent in females, such as depression and anxiety.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus