Attention bias variability and posttraumatic stress symptoms: the mediating role of emotion regulation difficulties

Growing literature has linked attention bias variability (ABV) to the experience and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unlike assessments of attention bias in only one direction, ABV captures dynamic fluctuations in attention toward and away from threat. While mechanisms underlying the ABV-PTSD relations are unclear, some research implicates emotion regulation difficulties. The current study examined in community women with varying PTSD symptom severity, the amount of variance in the association between ABV and PTSD accounted for by emotion regulation difficulties. The full sample (N = 74) was comprised of 59% community women with PTSD due to domestic and/or sexual violence, and 41% community women without PTSD. All participants completed self-report questionnaires including the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale-16, which assessed emotion regulation. ABV was calculated following a computerised dot probe task. The indirect effect of ABV on PTSD symptom severity through emotion regulation difficulties was statistically significant, while the direct effect between ABV and PTSD symptom severity was not significant. Findings replicated after controlling for total trauma exposure. Clinical implications and literature suggesting how ABV may perpetuate emotion regulation difficulties associated with PTSD symptomology are discussed.

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Childrens’ Study of AEU-Funded Trials Receives National Attention

Traumatic Events are Associated with Diverse Psychological Symptoms in Typically-Developing Children Abstract Read the full article in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma below! Mills2019

VA Launches PTSD Coach app

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched the PTSD Coach app.   This free app provides you with education about PTSD, information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support, and tools that can help you manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD. Tools range from relaxation skills and positive self-talk…

Paper Published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Based on AEU-Funded Research

Hippocampal and parahippocampal volumes vary by sex and traumatic life events in children Amy S. Badura-Brack, PhD; Mackenzie S. Mills, BA; Christine M. Embury, MA; Maya M. Khanna, PhD; Alicia Klanecky Earl, PhD; Julia M. Stephen, PhD; Yu-Ping Wang, PhD; Vince D. Calhoun, PhD; Tony W. Wilson, PhD Published online on Feb. 20, 2020; subject…