Title

Exploring the moderating role of gender in the relation between emotional expressivity and posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity among Black trauma-exposed college students at a historically Black university

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2021

Abstract

Objectives: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized in part by negative alterations of cognition or mood, including alterations in emotional expressivity, or the extent to which one outwardly displays emotions. Yet, research in this area has relied on predominantly white samples and neglected to consider the potential role of gender, despite there being demonstrated gender differences in both PTSD symptom severity and emotional expressivity, separately. The goal of the current study was to fill a critical gap in the literature by examining the moderating role of gender in the relation between PTSD symptom severity and emotional expressivity in a sample of trauma-exposed Black adults. Methods: Participants were 207 Black individuals enrolled in a historically Black university in the Southern United States (68.6% female; Mage = 22.32 years). Results: Findings provided support for the moderating role of gender in the association between PTSD symptom severity and emotional expressivity. Specifically, greater PTSD symptom severity was inversely related to emotional expressivity among trauma-exposed Black males and positively associated with emotional expressivity among trauma-exposed Black females. Discussion: These results suggest the potential need for gender-specific assessment and treatment techniques for PTSD symptom severity among trauma-exposed Black college students.

Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Psychology

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