PTSD Symptoms in College Students Exposed to Interparental Violence: Are they Comparable to those that Result from Child Physical and Sexual Abuse?
The purpose of this study was to identify and compare the magnitude of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in college students with and without childhood histories of physical abuse (CPA), sexual abuse (CSA), or interparental violence (CPV). Undergraduate students (n=180) completed the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI) and a childhood history questionnaire that assessed their experience of CPA, CSA, and CPV. Multiple regression analyses were used to determine the extent to which each type of trauma history predicted elevated symptomatology on the six TSI subscales (anxious arousal, anger/irritability, intrusive experiences, depression, tension reduction behaviors, and defensive avoidance) previously found to be associated with these types of abuse. For several subscales, having exposure to interparental violence was the strongest predictor of elevated symptomatology, suggesting that CPV is at least as powerful as CPA or CSA in producing symptoms of PTSD in adulthood. Modified Author Abstract.