Trauma awareness and preparedness: Their influence on posttraumatic stress disorder development related to armed conflict experience

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 29, issue 3, 2019 , pages: 249–254
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2019.1619997
Author(s): Yvonne Duagani MasikaLaboratoire de Psychologie Médicale et d’Addictologie, Belgium, Christophe LeysFaculty of Psychology, Belgium, Pierre FossionLaboratoire de Psychologie Médicale et d’Addictologie, Belgium, Paul VerbanckLaboratoire de Psychologie Médicale et d’Addictologie, Belgium, Maurice Tingu Yaba NzolamesoFaculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l’Education,, Samuel Mampunza Ma MieziDépartement de Psychiatrie, RDC, Charles KornreichLaboratoire de Psychologie Médicale et d’Addictologie, Belgium


This study examined influences of trauma awareness and preparedness on the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in civilian and military personnel with exposure to the civil war. Participants were 302 people with exposure to civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (civilians = 68%; females = 47%; age range = 16 to 76 years old, SD = 13.58 years). Participants completed the Posttraumatic Checklist Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Traumatic Events List. The data were analysed to predict PTSD development from trauma awareness and preparedness, taking exposure to multiple traumas into account as a risk factor. Findings suggest that trauma awareness and preparedness play an important role among military personnel in moderating the risk of developing PTSD, more so than among the civilian population. Mental health professionals working with civil war survivors should seek to explore trauma awareness and preparedness as resources for minimising risk for PTSD in armed conflict situations.

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