What predicts which women will develop PTSD after a potentially traumatic event?

Number of baseline PTSD reexperiencing symptoms, rape history, and history of childhood physical assault were all found to predict PTSD chronicity 2 years later.

Chronic cases were also more likely to experience subsequent exposure to potentially traumatic stressors not involving interpersonal violence.

Contrary to our prediction, binge drinking and poorer perceived health did not predict chronicity.

An analysis of mental health treatment seeking revealed no relationship between remission status and treatment seeking at baseline or any of the follow-up assessments, even when controlling for baseline PTSD symptom severity.

The absence of a relationship between subsequent treatment seeking and remission status suggests that, for many women, symptoms subsided without professional assistance.”

[Comment: That is, I would say, 1/2 got better using their own network and resources, not those of a professional; this probably does not mean that PTSD just evaporates.]

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy has scheduled an article for publication in a future issue: “Factors Associated With Chronicity in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Prospective Analysis of a National Sample of Women.” The authors are Jesse R. Cougle, Heidi Resnick, and Dean G. Kilpatrick.

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“The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness.

The authors are Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers.

Here’s the abstract: “By many objective measures the lives of women in
the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that
measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has
declined both absolutely and relative to men.  The paradox of women’s
declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures
of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and
industrialized countries.  Relative declines in female happiness have
eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically
reported higher subjective well-being than did men.  These declines have
continued and a new gender gap is emerging — one with higher subjective
well-being for men.”

The article is online — but requires a subscription — at:
<http://www.nber.org/papers/w14969&gt;.

Courtesy of Ken Pope

The University of Southern California issued the following announcement: Women end up less happy than men Less able to achieve their life goals, women end up unhappier than men later in life – even though they start out happier, reveals new research by Anke Plagnol of the University of Cambridge, and University of Southern California economist Richard Easterlin. (more…)