Does pre-event lack of emotional support increase the risk of post-event PTSD, anxiety, depression symptoms and lack of support? A comparative population-based study among victims of threat and violence

P.G. van der Velden*, C. Contino, M. Marchand, M. Das, H.A.W. Schut

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Our knowledge about the effects of perceived emotional support on PTSD, anxiety and depressive symptoms after serious threat and violence is primarily based on post-event studies. Very little is known about the extent to which (1) victims lacking pre-event emotional support are more at risk of post-event symptoms and lack of post-event support than victims with pre-event emotional support, and (2) victims with pre-event emotional support and victims lacking emotional support are more at risk of post-event anxiety and depressive symptoms than nonvictims with similar pre-event support levels. For this purpose, we conducted a 2-wave prospective study (VICTIMS) using the Dutch population-based longitudinal LISS panel. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted, controlling for pre-event demographics, symptoms, and physical, work-related and financial problems. As hypothesized, victims (Nvictims total = 187) lacking pre-event support more often had high post-event PTSD, anxiety and depressive symptoms than victims with pre-event support. No significant differences were found between victims and nonvictims with pre-event emotional support (Nnonvictims total = 2,828, not exposed to any event). Since victims and nonvictims with pre-event support did not differ in post-event symptoms and support, the findings offer strong evidence for the buffering hypothesis of emotional support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102269
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume75
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of emotional support
  • PTSD
  • Threat
  • Violence

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