PTSD and self-rated health in urban traumatized African American adults: The mediating role of emotion regulation.

Psychol Trauma 2020 Jan 16;12(1):84-91. Epub 2019 May 16.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine.

Objective: Although previous research has demonstrated a link between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self-rated health, the role of regulatory processes within this relationship has yet to be fully understood for African American urban populations. The goal of the present study was to determine whether emotion dysregulation mediated the relationship between PTSD diagnosis and self-rated health problems.

Method: Data were collected from 446 adult participants (92% female, 97% African American) between the ages of 18 and 65 years who were recruited as part of the Grady Trauma Project, a National Institutes of Health-funded study of risk and resilience factors related to PTSD. Participants were recruited from a public hospital, and interviews included demographic characteristics, self-rating of health, assessment of emotion dysregulation using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, and PTSD diagnosis using the Modified PTSD Symptom Scale.

Results: Results revealed that emotion dysregulation significantly mediated the relationship between PTSD and self-rated health. Exploratory analyses revealed that specific dimensions of emotion regulation were significant mediators in this relationship. Age, sex, education, marital status, income, and total number of lifetime traumas experienced were controlled for in all analyses.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that emotion dysregulation may play a significant role in the PTSD-health relationship for African Americans. Future research investigating culturally relevant emotion regulation strategies are warranted given likely consequences for both physical and mental health outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000472DOI Listing
January 2020

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