ArticlePREDICTORS OF POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS IN CIVILIANS 1 YEAR AFTER AIR ATTACKS: A STUDY OF YUGOSLAVIAN STUDENTSGAVRILOVIC, JELENA1; LECIC-TOSEVSKI, DUSICA Ph.D.1,2; KNEZEVIC, GORAN M.A.2,3; PRIEBE, STEFAN M.D.4Author Information 1The Institute of Mental Health, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. 2Psychosocial Centre International Aid Network, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. 3Department of Psychology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. 4Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, Institute of Psychotrauma, St. Bartholomew’s and the Royal London School of Medicine, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE, England; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send reprint requests to Dr. Priebe. The authors thank Milica Pejovic-Milovancevic, Ph.D., for her help in conducting the study. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: April 2002 - Volume 190 - Issue 4 - p 257-262 Buy Abstract The level of posttraumatic stress, other psychological symptoms, and potential predictors were assessed in 139 medical students 1 year after experiencing air attacks in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Eleven percent of the students showed high levels of posttraumatic stress (scores > 34) on the Impact of Event Scale; lower degrees of intrusion symptoms were reported by 32% of the students and avoidance symptoms were reported by 45%. Although gender, distress during previous stressful events, and exposure to trauma during the attacks were all of some predictive value, distress during the attacks was the best predictor for symptoms. This association remained significant when the influence of other psychological symptoms was controlled. The type of previous stressful events interacted with the degree of exposure to trauma during the attacks in predicting avoidance symptoms, but not intrusion symptoms. The findings suggest that predictors for high and low thresholds of symptoms may be similar. The quality of previous stressful events can modify the response to subsequent trauma. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.