Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Nicole H. Weiss

Abstract

A substantial body of research over the past decade underscores the role of emotion dysregulation in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Notably, however, this research has been limited in its lack of attention to factors that may influence (e.g., childhood trauma) or explain (e.g., emotional reactivity) the association of emotion dysregulation to PTSD and inform intervention efforts. The current study addresses these limitations by using a moderated mediation approach to examine the role of childhood trauma (i.e., moderator) in the associations among PTSD (i.e., independent variable), objective and subjective emotional reactivity (i.e., mediating variable), and emotion dysregulation (i.e., dependent variable). In the mediation models, emotional reactivity did not significantly explain the relationship between PTSD symptoms and emotion dysregulation. In the moderation models, level of childhood trauma influenced the strength of the associations among PTSD symptom severity, subjective emotional reactivity, and emotion dysregulation. Specifically, subjective emotional reactivity was a significant mediator of the relation between PTSD symptom severity and emotion dysregulation at mean (but not high or low) levels of childhood trauma. Findings highlight the importance of assessing for levels of childhood trauma among women who experience IPV to identify those at risk for developing emotion dysregulation.

Available for download on Monday, January 24, 2022

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