Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

David Schuldberg

Commitee Members

Cameo Borntrager, Darrell Stolle




University of Montana


Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric construct that refers to symptoms that may follow exposure to a traumatic event. The current definition of a traumatic event differentiates between the objective event, criterion A1, and an individual’s subjective response, criterion A2. This study investigated the importance of criterion A2 and other intense negative emotions in the development of PTSD. Self-report measures were used to determine the presence or absence of the event criteria A1 and A2, PTSD symptoms, and intensity of emotion type at the time of an event. Criterion A2 emotions at the time of the event were associated with higher levels of PTSD symptoms regardless of the presence or absence of an A1 event. Consistent with previous literature, non-criteria A1 events were associated with higher ratings of PTSD symptoms compared to criteria A1 events. Finally, in addition to the peritraumatic emotion of fear, peritraumatic guilt also significantly predicted PTSD symptom intensity.



© Copyright 2010 Daniel Evan Dewey