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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 Sep;197(9):639-45. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181b3b127.

The interplay of perceived social support and posttraumatic psychological distress following orofacial injury.

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  • 1Department of Social Welfare, Los Angeles School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Social support is believed to mediate psychosocial recovery in vulnerable populations after trauma. In this study, we examine the relationships between perceived social support and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in a cohort of 287 socio-economically disadvantaged adults with orofacial injury, using 3 waves of data collected over a period of 1 year after the injury. Using structural equation modeling process, we evaluated the cross-lagged effects between perceived social support (PSS) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. We found that PSS had a direct influence on PTSD only when examined concurrently. After controlling the covariates, the model supports the cross-lagged effect for PTSD symptoms on PSS at T2 and T3, which suggests a reciprocal contribution between symptoms and support as time progressed. Our data suggest that, over time, high rates of PTSD symptoms are related to a diminished perception of available social support.

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