Life after Trauma: Personality and Daily Life Experiences of Traumatized People

Scott C. Bunce, Randy J. Larson, Christopher Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


In this study, we explored differences in personality and daily life experiences of traumatized (n= 26) versus nontraumatized (n= 30) college students. Study participants completed a variety of personality measures as well as a 28–day experience sampling study assessing daily activities, emotions, and physical health. Although not differing on general demographics, traumatized individuals reported more trait anxiety and lower self–esteem than nontraumatized individuals. They scored higher on Neuroticism, were more introverted, and were less emotionally stable than nontraumatized participants. Traumatized individuals also reported more cognitive disturbances, emotional blunting, and interpersonal withdrawal. They did not report being more depressed, but did endorse cognitive styles associated with heightened risk for depression. Earlier age of trauma was associated with more pathological outcomes: lower self–esteem and psychological well–being, more anxiety, more pessimism, and emotional constriction of positive mood. We compare this symptom profile to that of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-188
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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