By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on November 3, 2009
Childhood adversity and trauma during adulthood appear to predispose individuals to post-traumatic stress disorders.
Researchers found the combination of insults were more predictive of PTSD than exposure to only one type of disturbance.
Furthermore, the risk was additionally accentuated among individuals with a certain genetic mutation.
The report is found in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Although 40 percent to 70 percent of Americans have experienced traumatic events, only about 8 percent develop PTSD during their lifetimes, according to background information in the article.
PTSD is a complex anxiety disorder that involves re-experiencing, avoidance and increased arousal following exposure to a life-threatening event.
“In addition to the obvious effect of environmental factors, PTSD has a heritable component,” the authors write. Recent studies estimate that genetic factors account for approximately 30 percent of the difference in PTSD symptoms…