Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between five posttraumatic stress symptom (PTSS) clusters and two forms of externalizing problems within and across the middle school years in a low income urban sample of young adolescent African Americans. A secondary aim of this study was to explore moderation effects by gender. Total PTSS positively predicted a little over 58% of the cross-sectional externalizing outcomes and uniquely explained between 5 and 12% of the variance in these outcomes over and above gender and exposure to violence. Total PTSS significantly and positively predicted one-third of the longitudinal outcomes and explained between 2 and 3% of the variance in these outcomes over and above gender, exposure to violence, and previous year externalizing. The five PTSS clusters significantly predicted two-thirds of cross-sectional externalizing outcomes and explained between 6 and 16% of the variance in these outcomes over and above gender and exposure to violence. Numbing emerged as a significant positive predictor of externalizing problems, while dissociation emerged as a significant negative predictor. Intrusion also emerged as a significant positive predictor of delinquency. Six moderation effects by gender were found in which the relation between PTSS and externalizing problems was significantly stronger for boys than girls within years. The impact of exposure to violence and clinical implications of the findings are further discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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