Trauma and Adaptation in Severe Mental Illness

The Role of Self-Reported Abuse and Exposure to Community Violence

Published in: Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, v. 5, no. 1, Jan. 2004, p. 29-47

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Golan Shahar, Alexi Wisher, Matthew Chinman, David Sells, Bret Kloos, Jacob Kraemer Tebes, Larry Davidson

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The authors examined the role of self-reported physical and/or sexual abuse and recent exposure to community violence on three adaptation outcomes in Severe Mental Illness (SMI): psychotic symptoms, demoralization, and substance abuse. One hundred and nine (109) individuals with SMI were administered an extensive protocol that included the pertinent variables. Structural Equation Modeling analyses indicated that abuse predicted psychotic symptoms and demoralization, whereas exposure to community violence predicted substance abuse. These findings point to different possible trauma-adaptation configurations, and suggest that both past and present trauma complicates the adaptation of people with SMI.

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