Date of Award

12-1-2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kertz, Sarah

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric disorder and is associated with impairment in multiple domains. Research on the development of PTSD symptoms is often limited by the use of cross-sectional designs and retrospective reports of pre-trauma factors. The trauma film paradigm allows for the measurement of pre-trauma factors to determine which variables serve as prospective predictors of posttraumatic stress symptom development. Two factors which may predict posttraumatic stress symptom development are distress intolerance and attentional control. Research suggests distress intolerance is related to posttraumatic stress symptoms, but this relationship has only been shown cross-sectionally. Research has further shown attention control prospectively predicts posttraumatic stress symptoms. Cross-sectional research also suggests attentional control moderates the relationship between distress intolerance and posttraumatic stress symptoms. The current study used the trauma film paradigm to investigate whether attentional control moderates the relationship between distress intolerance and posttraumatic stress symptoms. The current study findings were mixed, but suggest that attentional control does not moderate the association between distress intolerance and posttraumatic stress symptoms. These results suggest distress intolerance and attentional control may not be important variables in the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms.

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