Event Title

Attentional and Memory Bias among Sexual Assault Survivors with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Presenter Information

Alexandra Medina

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation/Art Exihibt

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Location

Event Center BC

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Christina Hassija

Start Date

5-18-2017 11:00 AM

End Date

5-18-2017 12:00 PM

Abstract

The National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described in the DSM-5 as a trauma-related disorder caused by exposure to a traumatic event. The National Comorbidity Survey Replication estimates that PTSD will have a lifetime effect for 6.8% of Americans. Studies have shown that negative cognitions and mood disturbance contribute to individuals’ development of PTSD and depression and can result in attentional bias. The two primary PTSD symptom clusters used to explain attentional bias are re-experiencing and hyperarousal. Studies have shown that individuals with PTSD may experience attentional bias towards trauma-related words causing slower and less accurate responses to trauma-related stimulus. However, there has been little research conducted on attentional bias among sexual assault populations. The goal of the current study is to examine attentional bias effects in sexual assault survivors with the use of a Stroop task. We aimed to determine if sexual assault survivors with PTSD and depression would have a larger bias toward sexual assault related words as compared to sexual assault survivors with no PTSD and controls. Participants were assessed for level of PTSD and depression and completed a Stroop task containing five categories of words: sexual assault-related, matchedneutral, neutral, positive, and negative. Data collection is ongoing. However, preliminary findings suggest a positive relationship between greater PTSD symptom severity scores and reaction time. Findings have possible implications for determining indicators of PTSD severity by the intensity of attentional biases towards sexual assault-related words.

Share

COinS
 
May 18th, 11:00 AM May 18th, 12:00 PM

Attentional and Memory Bias among Sexual Assault Survivors with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Event Center BC

The National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described in the DSM-5 as a trauma-related disorder caused by exposure to a traumatic event. The National Comorbidity Survey Replication estimates that PTSD will have a lifetime effect for 6.8% of Americans. Studies have shown that negative cognitions and mood disturbance contribute to individuals’ development of PTSD and depression and can result in attentional bias. The two primary PTSD symptom clusters used to explain attentional bias are re-experiencing and hyperarousal. Studies have shown that individuals with PTSD may experience attentional bias towards trauma-related words causing slower and less accurate responses to trauma-related stimulus. However, there has been little research conducted on attentional bias among sexual assault populations. The goal of the current study is to examine attentional bias effects in sexual assault survivors with the use of a Stroop task. We aimed to determine if sexual assault survivors with PTSD and depression would have a larger bias toward sexual assault related words as compared to sexual assault survivors with no PTSD and controls. Participants were assessed for level of PTSD and depression and completed a Stroop task containing five categories of words: sexual assault-related, matchedneutral, neutral, positive, and negative. Data collection is ongoing. However, preliminary findings suggest a positive relationship between greater PTSD symptom severity scores and reaction time. Findings have possible implications for determining indicators of PTSD severity by the intensity of attentional biases towards sexual assault-related words.