Network analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms among adolescent survivors of a major disaster in China

Yuanyuan AN, Jiaqi ZHAO, Junyi SHI, Wai Kai HOU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Children and adolescents are found to be more vulnerable to developing PTSD than adults over time after major disasters. This study aims to investigate the network structures of PTSD and the directions of relationships between symptoms among adolescent survivors in the year after the Yancheng Tornado in China. Method: A total of 395 youth survivors completed the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (Foa et al., 2001) at 3 months and 12 months following the tornado. Network analysis was used to compare networks of PTSD symptoms and changes over time. Results: Different centrality symptoms existed at different time points. Anger, startle responses, and physiological reactivity were important to the maintenance of PTSD symptoms arising from the tornado at 3 months, while dreams/nightmares and distancing/avoidance were important to maintaining PTSD symptoms at 12 months. Analysis suggested that sleep difficulty and intrusive thoughts were the key PTSD symptoms to be treated at 3 months; sleep remained to be the key symptoms to be treated at 12 months. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that sleep difficulty could be a main cause of other symptoms and trigger the entire symptom system into undesirable psychopathological development among adolescent survivors in the year following major disasters. Copyright © 2021 APA, all rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Early online date29 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2021

Citation

An, Y., Zhao, J., Shi, J., & Hou, W. K. (2021). Network analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms among adolescent survivors of a major disaster in China. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/tra0001053

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