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Gender-specific predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents: The role of problematic substance use and interpersonal relationships

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  • Dagmar Feddern Donbaek, Denmark
  • Ask Elklit, Videnscenter for Psykotraumatologi, School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Denmark
Gender is an important risk factor for both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) in adolescents; however, little is known about the influence of gender when considering their common co-occurrence. This study examined whether problematic substance use, attachment structures and posttraumatic social support as independent predictors of PTSD severity differ between genders. For this purpose, a Danish probability sample of 15- to 18-year-old males (n=863) and females (n=1,125) was analyzed to reveal gender-specific risk patterns of PTSD severity. The results showed that drug abuse and avoidant attachment to best friends were significant predictors of PTSD severity in male adolescents, whereas alcohol abuse and the absence of posttraumatic social support from parents remained significant predictors for female adolescents. The results support the influence of gender-specific substance abuse patterns and dysfunctional interpersonal relationships on the PTSD severity of traumatized adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Gender differences, Adolescence, Comorbidity, substance abuse, substance use disorder, trauma

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