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J Trauma Stress. 2011 Jun;24(3):317-25. doi: 10.1002/jts.20641. Epub 2011 May 25.

Avoidant coping as a mediator between peritraumatic dissociation and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA.


Peritraumatic dissociation consistently predicts posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Avoidant coping may serve as a mechanism through which peritraumatic dissociation contributes to PTSD symptoms. Path analysis was used to examine whether avoidant coping assessed 6 weeks following a motor vehicle accident mediated the relationship between in-hospital peritraumatic dissociation and 6-month (n = 193) and 12-month (n = 167) chronic PTSD symptoms. Results revealed that, after controlling for age, gender, depression, and 6-week PTSD symptoms, avoidant coping remained a partial mediator between peritraumatic dissociation and chronic PTSD symptoms 6- and 12-months postaccident. Post-hoc multigroup analyses suggested that at 6-months posttrauma, the mediation was significant in women, but not in men. Gender-specific results were not significant at 12-months posttrauma. Interventions targeted at reducing avoidant coping in high dissociators may aid in reducing PTSD symptoms.

Copyright © 2011 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

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