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J Aggress Maltreat Trauma. 2008 Jul 1;16(4):391-408.

Emotional Reactions During and After Trauma: A Comparison of Trauma Types.

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  • 1Auburn University.


Peri- and posttraumatic emotional responses have been understudied, and furthermore, have rarely been compared among trauma types. The current study compared college students' retrospective self-reports of peri- and posttraumatic responses of fear, shame, guilt, anger, and sadness among four types of traumatic events: sexual assault, physical assault, transportation accident, and illness/injury. Overall emotional responding was generally high for all trauma types, and for those in the sexual assault group, emotion increased sharply from the peri- to posttraumatic time-point. Generally, fear was higher during the trauma compared to after the trauma, whereas the other emotions tended to remain stable or increase posttrauma. The sexual assault group tended to report higher levels of posttrauma emotion than the other trauma type groups.

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