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Recalled Peritraumatic Distress in Survivors of Violent Crime: Exploring Its Impact on the Relationship Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Posttraumatic Growth

Kunst, Maarten Jacob Johannes PhD, LLM

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 11 - p 962–966
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182718a74
Original Articles

Several authors have speculated that the lack of consistency regarding the relationship between symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic growth (PTG) is caused by third variables. Recalled peritraumatic distress (PD) may operate as a third variable because previous research suggests that both PTSD and PTG correlate with recalled PD. Therefore, the present study explored how recalled PD impacts the relationship between PTSD and PTG. An Internet questionnaire on PTSD symptom severity, recalled PD, and PTG was administered to 678 survivors of violent crime. The results suggested that recalled PD suppresses the association between PTSD symptom severity and PTG. In addition, a significant association between the interaction term of PTSD symptom severity and recalled PD and PTG was observed. Simple slopes tests indicated that self-reported PTSD symptoms were negatively associated with PTG but only among survivors with high levels of PD.

Faculty of Law, Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Send reprint requests to Maarten Jacob Johannes Kunst, PhD, LLM, Faculty of Law, Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, Leiden University, Room B1.34, P.O. Box 9520, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.