A prospective analysis of trauma exposure: The mediating role of PTSD symptomatology

Holly K. Orcutt, Darin J. Erickson, Jessica Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Trauma exposure has been associated with increased risk of exposure to additional traumatic events. Reactions to trauma exposure, specifically PTSD symptomatology, may mediate the link between trauma exposure and later traumatic events. Data from a longitudinal sample of Gulf War veterans (N = 2,949) were analyzed using a series of regression models. Higher levels of combat exposure were related to increased reports of PTSD symptomatology immediately upon return as well as increased reports of traumatic events in the 2 years following the Gulf War. PTSD symptomatology partially mediated the link between combat exposure and later trauma. Symptom clusters were also analyzed separately as potential mediators. Implications for the treatment of PTSD and prevention of exposure to multiple traumas are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-266
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Gulf War veterans
  • PTSD
  • Retraumatization
  • Trauma exposure


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