Original ArticlesRevenge Phenomena and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Former East German Political PrisonersGäbler, Ira Dipl-Psych; Maercker, Andreas MD, PhDAuthor Information Department of Psychopathology and Clinical Intervention, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. This research was supported by grants from the Margrit-Egnér Foundation, Switzerland. Send reprint requests to Ira Gäbler, Werdstrasse 129, Zurich 8003, Switzerland. E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: May 2011 - Volume 199 - Issue 5 - p 287-294 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182174fe7 Buy Metrics Abstract To date, psychological revenge phenomena have not been investigated systematically as factors potentially contributing to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This follow-up study (1995: N = 146; 2008: N = 93) assessed the predictive power of revenge phenomena for current PTSD symptoms in a sample of former East German political prisoners some four decades after traumatization. As the results of multiple hierarchical regression analyses have revealed, revenge feelings and cognitions significantly contributed to the prediction of both self-reported and clinician-rated PTSD symptoms above and beyond standard predictor variables. In contrast, revenge intentions did not contribute to the prediction of current PTSD. The findings suggest that revenge feelings and cognitions may be a maintaining factor for longtime PTSD. Identification and therapeutic modification of dysfunctional revenge phenomena may therefore enhance the effectiveness of psychotherapy for persistent PTSD. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.