Title

The role of positive emotion dysregulation in the relationship between childhood abuse and PTSD in a community sample of veterans

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

4-1-2021

Abstract

Background: The co-occurrence of childhood abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among United States military veterans is highly prevalent and clinically significant. Emotion dysregulation is one factor that has been found to underlie the association between childhood abuse and PTSD, yet past research has focused exclusively on dysregulation stemming from negative emotions. Objective: The current study extends existing research by clarifying the role of positive emotion dysregulation in the relation between childhood abuse and PTSD in a community sample of military veterans. Participants and setting: Participants were 465 trauma-exposed military veterans in the community (Mage = 38.00, 71.6 % women, 69.5 % White). Method: Using structural equation modeling, we tested the indirect association of childhood abuse to PTSD symptom severity through positive emotion dysregulation. Results: The hypothesized model showed adequate model fit, χ2 (32, n = 465) = 176.22, p < .001, CFI = .97, RMSEA = .10, 90 % CI [.08, .11], SRMR = .04. Results showed that childhood abuse was indirectly associated with PTSD symptom severity through positive emotion dysregulation. Conclusions: This finding highlights the potential utility of targeting positive emotion dysregulation in the detection and treatment of PTSD symptoms in veterans who experienced childhood abuse.

Publication Title

Child Abuse and Neglect

Volume

114

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