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J Trauma Stress. 1999 Apr;12(2):345-53.

Effects of attribution of responsibility for motor vehicle accidents on severity of PTSD symptoms, ways of coping, and recovery over six months.

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Sage Colleges, University at Albany-SUNY 12203, USA.


In light of Delahanty et al.'s (1997) identification of attribution of responsibility for a motor vehicle accident (MVA) as a powerful determinant of initial level of distress from the trauma and of early remission of PTSD, we reexamined data from Blanchard and Hickling's (1997) prospective follow-up of 158 MVA survivors. Despite differences between the two samples (Delahanty sample recruited from hospitals 2-3 weeks post-MVA and predominantly male; our sample recruited from outpatient care 1-4 months post-MVA and predominantly female) we replicated Delahanty's findings: those with PTSD who blame themselves for the MVA are less symptomatic initially and recover more rapidly in the first 6 months than those with PTSD who blame another party for the accident.

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