Are All Traumatic Events Equal? Further Research Using the BBTS

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Title: Are All Traumatic Events Equal? Further Research Using the BBTS
Author: Allard, Carolyn B. (Carolyn Brigitte), 1968-; Freyd, Jennifer J.; Goldberg, Lewis R. (Lewis Robert), 1932-
Abstract: The Brief Betrayal Trauma Survey (BBTS; Goldberg & Freyd, 2004) assesses potentially traumatic childhood and adulthood experiences, which can be categorized as high in betrayal (HB) or low in betrayal (LB) depending on whether the perpetrator was close or not close to the respondent. Previous research has provided support for betrayal trauma theory (Freyd, 1996) in revealing that, while LB predicts psychological distress in adulthood, HB traumas explain significantly more of the predictive variance. In the present study, changes in the BBTS were introduced in an effort to increase its interpretability and validity, and further tests of betrayal trauma theory are being conducted. Our preliminary findings are consistent with previous research in that HB events significantly predict higher levels of dissociation, depression, and anxiety symptoms than do LB events. In our sample of young adults, childhood HB events alone, and not events experienced in adulthood, predict increased symptomatology. Furthermore, those childhood HB events that were directly experienced explain the most variance, whereas those that were witnessed or heard about do not contribute to the predictive associations. These findings have implications for conceptualizations of traumas, their sequelae, and their treatment.
Date: 2005-11

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