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Annu Rev Psychol. 2003;54:229-52. Epub 2002 Jun 10.

Progress and controversy in the study of posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA. rjm@wjh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been notable for controversy as well as progress. This article concerns the evidence bearing on the most contentious issues in the field of traumatic stress: broadening of the definition of trauma, problems with the dose-response model of PTSD, distortion in the recollection of trauma, concerns about "phony combat vets," psychologically toxic guilt as a traumatic stressor, risk factors for PTSD, possible brain-damaging effects of stress hormones, recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse, and the politics of trauma.

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