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Evaluating Measures of Stress and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder / IMOGEN HOPKINS
Swansea University Author: IMOGEN HOPKINS
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Copyright: The author, Imogen F. Hopkins, 2021.Download (3.18MB)
This thesis aimed to identify measures vulnerable to stress and identify whether active inhibition task performance was associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms or personality traits. The discovery of measures of psychological processes affected by PTSD symptoms is particularly...
|Degree level:||Master of Research|
|Degree name:||MSc by Research|
|Supervisor:||Gray, Nicola S. ; Snowden, Robert ; Bennett Paul ; Rees, Nigel|
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This thesis aimed to identify measures vulnerable to stress and identify whether active inhibition task performance was associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms or personality traits. The discovery of measures of psychological processes affected by PTSD symptoms is particularly useful for situations where self-report measures are less suitable. Chapter One reviewed several physiological and psychological measures of stress and PTSD. Chapter Two presented the results of a pilot laboratory study (N = 53) which investigated four different measures purported to be sensitive to stress (heart rate, heart rate variability, latent inhibition, and active inhibition). Due to restrictions imposed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this study was terminated prior to completion of data collection. Despite this, both heart rate and heart rate variability were found to be significantly affected by the two stressors (a number task and video clip). This supported the use of these measures for assessing stress response. Latent inhibition appeared unaffected by stress, although the active inhibition results were unclear, possibly due to the small sample size. Chapter Three detailed a novel online study (N = 360) that investigated how PTSD symptoms and personality traits affected performance on an active inhibition task. Online research was adopted due to ongoing restrictions. An active inhibition task was completed, followed by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and PTSD Checklist for DSM-5. Contrary to expectations, PTSD symptoms were positively correlated with increased active inhibition, with avoidance having the strongest correlation. Individuals who met the criteria for PTSD showed greater active inhibition, than those below criteria threshold. No effect was found for any personality traits. Chapter Four discussed the finding of this research which suggest PTSD may not always be associated with inhibition deficits and the active inhibition task may have been highlighted as a measurement of inhibitory processing differences associated with PTSD symptoms.
stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, active inhibition, latent inhibition, personality
College of Human and Health Sciences