Personality traits, coping style, and perceived threat as predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder after exposure to a terrorist attack: A prospective study

Sharon Gil, Yael Caspi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This prospective study examined the role of pretraumatic personality factors, coping style, proximity to a terrorist attack, and its perceived threat to the survivors in the prediction of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a suicide bomber's attack on a bus. METHOD: The study sample consisted of 180 undergraduate students who were coincidentally evaluated 2 weeks before a terrorist explosion in a bus heading toward their university and reevaluated 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months after the explosion. RESULTS: A hierarchal regression model revealed that increased risk for PTSD was associated with direct exposure to the attack, indirect exposure to the attack, preattack harm avoidance personality dimension, state avoidance coping style, and perceived threat posed by the attack. CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that premorbid personality characteristics, as well as subjective and objective factors related to the traumatic exposure, increased the risk for the development of PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-909
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume68
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • Coping style
  • Perceived threat
  • Personality traits
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Terrorist attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology

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