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Distress after criminal victimization: quantitative and qualitative aspects in a two-year perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores distress and reactions after crime by a previously unknown perpetrator in a two-year perspective. Distress was investigated at eight months and two years, using quantitative and qualitative methods. The specific aims of the thesis were (I) to explore the level of distress and the role of risk factors for post-traumatic and general symptoms eight months post crime, (II) to examine the natural course of adjustment at a two-year follow-up in female and male victims of interpersonal violence, III) to investigate the relationship between shame, guilt, and distress among 35 victims of a single severe violent crime, and (IV) to use qualitative analysis to describe individual post-crime trajectories. The following questionnaires were used: Symptom Check List 90 (Derogatis & Cleary, 1977), Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (Mollica et al., 1992), the Test for Self-Conscious Affect (Tagney et al., 1989). Data were also obtained via semi-structured interviews, including the use of visual analog scales for subjective mental health measures. The participants in paper I were male and female Swedish adult victims of reported interpersonal violence eight months earlier. Participants were between 18 and 66 years of age (n=41). At follow-up (Paper II) the sample size had decreased (n=35). In paper III, adult victims (aged 18-64) of reported interpersonal violence were assessed within two weeks of reported crime (n=35). In paper IV a subsample of 11 adult crime victims were drawn from among the participants from papers I and II.

Paper I showed that women reported more distress than men. Prior trauma, adverse childhood, female sex, previous psychiatric history, and unemployment were all associated with more distress. Peritraumatic reactions (especially secondary emotions following cognitive appraisals after the event) predicted the three core PTSD symptoms and comorbid conditions, together with female sex and psychiatric history. Paper II confirmed most of the risk factors at eight months and that, in general, no further recovery took place between eight months and two years. Paper III showed that shame-proneness and event-related shame were highly intercorrelated and related to higher symptoms levels, while the guilt measures were unrelated to each other as well as to symptoms. Paper IV explored narratives of victimization; the results suggest that individual differences within the same trajectories of recovery should be expected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2011. , 54 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1415
Keyword [en]
criminal victimization, posttraumatic distress, risk factors
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42781ISBN: 978-91-7459-181-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-42781DiVA: diva2:410410
Public defence
2011-05-13, NUS, Byggnad 23 (S-plan) Sal A, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Trauma-related symptoms after violent crime: the role of risk factors before, during and eight months after victimization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trauma-related symptoms after violent crime: the role of risk factors before, during and eight months after victimization
2009 (English)In: The Open Psychology Journal, ISSN 1874-3501/09, Vol. 2, 77-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of current suffering and the role of peritraumatic emotions and other risk factors for development of post-traumatic and general symptoms eight months post crime. Questionnaires assessing trauma-specific symptoms (HTQ) and general psychiatric symptoms (SCL-90) was used along with a semistructured interview covering subjective reactions of 41 civilian victims of interpersonal crime. Victims proved to still be suffering, in varying degrees, from post-traumatic symptoms and other psychological distress. Females reported more trauma-specific symptoms and other comorbid conditions than males. Prior trauma, adverse childhood, being female, previous psychiatric history, and unemployment were all associated with more distress. Peritraumatic reactions (especially secondary emotions following cognitive appraisals after the event) predicted the three core PTSD symptoms and comorbid conditions. Apart from the PTSD symptoms, an assessment of background factors, general psychiatric symptoms, peritraumatic emotions and their cognitive associated scripts in the initial post-trauma period could be helpful in identifying victims who are at risk of developing trauma symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bentham Open, 2009
Keyword
Crime victims, risk factors, PTSD, psychiatric symptoms, peritraumatic emotions
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-29775 (URN)10.2174/1874350100902010077 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-11-23 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved
2. Psychological distress associated with interpersonal violence: a prospective two-year follow-up study of female and male crime victims
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychological distress associated with interpersonal violence: a prospective two-year follow-up study of female and male crime victims
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42788 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-13 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2015-04-29Bibliographically approved
3. Distress after a single violent crime: how shame-proneness and event-related shame work together as risk factors for post-victimization symptoms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distress after a single violent crime: how shame-proneness and event-related shame work together as risk factors for post-victimization symptoms
Show others...
2011 (English)In: Psychological Reports, ISSN 0033-2941, Vol. 109, no 1, 3-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To increase understanding of post-victimization symptom development, the present study investigated the role of shame- and guilt-proneness and event-related shame and guilt as potential risk factors. 35 individuals (M age = 31.7 yr.; 48.5% women), recently victimized by a single event of severe violent crime, were assessed regarding shame- and guilt-proneness, event-related shame and guilt, and post-victimization symptoms. The mediating role of event-related shame was investigated with structural equation modeling (SEM), using bootstrapping. The guilt measures were unrelated to each other and to post-victimization symptoms. The shame measures were highly intercorrelated and were both positively correlated to more severe post-victimization symptom levels. Event-related shame as mediator between shame-proneness and post-victimization symptoms was demonstrated by prevalent significant indirect effects. Both shame measures are potent risk factors for distress after victimization, whereby part of the effect of shame-proneness on post-victimization symptoms is explained by event-related shame.

National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42791 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-13 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2015-04-29Bibliographically approved
4. Experiences of victimization after severe violent crime: a qualitative approach to different trajectories of recovery
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experiences of victimization after severe violent crime: a qualitative approach to different trajectories of recovery
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42795 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-13 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved

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