Clarifying the association between adverse childhood experiences and postdeployment posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity: A meta-analysis and large-sample investigation

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2023-06-07
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Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
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Crede, Marcus
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Tynan, Michael
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Psychology
The Department of Psychology may prepare students with a liberal study, or for work in academia or professional education for law or health-services. Graduates will be able to apply the scientific method to human behavior and mental processes, as well as have ample knowledge of psychological theory and method.
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We report on two studies designed to shed light on the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity in military personnel. In particular, we examined the evidence for both additive and multiplicative associations between ACEs and combat exposure in predicting PTSD symptom severity. Study 1 was a meta-analysis of 50 samples (N > 50,000), and we found evidence for a moderate linear association between ACEs and PTSD symptom severity, ρ = .24. We also found that ACEs explained substantial variance in PTSD symptom severity after controlling for combat exposure, ΔR2 = .048. In Study 2, which is preregistered, we relied on a large sample of combat-deployed U.S. soldiers (N > 6,000) to examine evidence of a multiplicative association between ACEs and combat exposure in predicting PTSD symptom severity. In line with theoretical arguments that individuals who have experienced childhood trauma are more vulnerable to subsequent trauma exposure, we found a weak but meaningful interaction effect, ΔR2 = .00, p < .001, between ACEs and deployment-related traumatic events in the prediction of PTSD symptom severity. Implications for clinical applications and future research are discussed.
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This article is published as Crede, M., Tynan, M., Harms, P. D., & Lester, P. B. (2023). Clarifying the association between adverse childhood experiences and postdeployment posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity: A meta-analysis and large-sample investigation. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 00, 1– 12. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22940. Posted with permission.
© 2023 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
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