Cumulative Trauma And Adjustment In Women Exposed To A Campus Shooting: Examining The Role Of Appraisals And Social Support
Author ORCID Identifier
Derrecka Boykin: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5107-4219
Holly Orcutt: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0197-0784
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Experiencing repeated trauma can have increasingly detrimental effects on psychosocial functioning after subsequent stressors. These effects may be intensified for victims of interpersonal traumas given that these events are often associated with heightened risk for adverse outcomes. To better understand this relationship, the present study prospectively examined the effect of pre-shooting trauma exposure (i.e., interpersonal vs. non-interpersonal trauma) on psychological functioning (i.e., posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression) following a mass campus shooting. Based on previous research, it was expected that negative appraisals and social support would mediate this relationship. A sample of 515 college women reporting prior trauma exposure was assessed at four time points following the shooting (i.e., pre-shooting, 1-month, 6-months, and 12-months post-shooting). Bootstrap analyses with bias-corrected confidence intervals were conducted. Contrary to expectation, pre-shooting trauma exposure was unrelated to 12-month post-shooting outcomes and neither negative appraisals nor social support at 6-months post-shooting emerged as mediators. Interestingly, a history of non-interpersonal trauma was associated with greater post-shooting family and friend support than a history of interpersonal trauma. Ad hoc analyses showed that pre-shooting symptom severity and level of exposure to the shooting had indirect effects on post-shooting outcomes via post-shooting negative appraisals. These findings support that cumulative trauma, regardless of type, may not have an additive effect unless individuals develop clinically significant symptoms following previous trauma. Trauma severity also appears to play a meaningful role.
campus shooting, cumulative trauma, depression, negative appraisals, PTSD
Boykin, Derrecka M.; Dunn, Qweandria T.; and Orcutt, Holly K., "Cumulative Trauma And Adjustment In Women Exposed To A Campus Shooting: Examining The Role Of Appraisals And Social Support" (2017). NIU Bibliography. 100.
Department of Psychology