Author(s): Startup M, Makgekgenene L, Webster R
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Abstract The Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI) assesses cognitions hypothesised to be associated with poor recovery from traumatic experiences and the maintenance of PTSD. The validity of the PTCI has received good support but doubts have been raised about its Self-BLAME subscale. The main aim of the present study was to test the ability of the PTCI subscales to discriminate between traumatised individuals with and without PTSD and to predict posttraumatic symptom severity. Participants (N=63) who had experienced a traumatic event were recruited via the media and completed the PTCI and self-report measures of PTSD and depression symptoms. Full criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD were met by 37 but not by the other 26. There were significant differences between these two groups on the total PTCI score and the Negative Cognitions About SELF and the Negative Cognitions About the WORLD subscales, but not on the Self-BLAME subscale. The two groups were discriminated by the PTCI subscales with 65\% accuracy and the multiple correlation (R=.68) between the subscales and posttraumatic symptom severity was highly significant. However, in these analyses, higher scores on the Self-BLAME subscale were associated with less risk of a diagnosis of PTSD and with less posttraumatic symptomatology. Possible interpretations of these results, in terms of statistical suppressor effects and the protective role of behavioural self-blame, are discussed.
This article was published in Behav Res Ther
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety