Dimensions of trauma and specific symptoms of complex posttraumatic stress disorder in inner-city youth: A preliminary study

Marina Post, Gerri Hanten, Xiaoqi Li, Adam T. Schmidt, Gunes Avci, Elisabeth A. Wilde, Stephen R. McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We examined relations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms with dimensions of trauma, including environment (Domestic vs. Community) and proximity (Indirect vs. Direct trauma) among inner-city youth. Participants (n = 65) reported traumatic events they had experienced on a version of the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index Trauma Exposure Screen, and reported PTSD symptoms with the PTSD Checklist-Civilian version ( PCL-C). High rates of trauma and PTSD were found, consistent with other reports of inner-city youth. The 49% of youth surveyed met criteria for PTSD on the PCL-C symptom scale with a score cutoff of 35. Females reported elevated PTSD symptom scores and a higher incidence of Domestic trauma than did males but similar incidence of other trauma types. When males and females were combined, Domestic trauma significantly correlated with each of the PTSD symptom clusters of intrusions, numbing/avoidance, and hyperarousal. When participants with Community trauma were excluded from analyses to reduce confounding environmental influence, Domestic trauma marginally correlated with numbing/avoidance symptoms. Our findings suggest that Domestic trauma may result in more emotional numbing/avoidance symptoms than other types of trauma. Further analyses suggested that Community trauma may result in more intrusions and hyperarousal symptoms rather than emotional numbing. Environmental aspects of trauma, rather than the proximity of trauma, may have greater impact on presentation of PTSD. Future studies with larger samples are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-279
Number of pages18
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Complex PTSD
  • PTSD
  • Trauma
  • Youth


Dive into the research topics of 'Dimensions of trauma and specific symptoms of complex posttraumatic stress disorder in inner-city youth: A preliminary study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this