The role of impulsivity in the relationship between dissociation and posttraumatic reactions after trauma

Melanie D. Hetzel-Riggin, Taylor C. Morris, Jessica N. Stoker, Richard L. Greatbatch, Katelyn B. Marsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


While the majority of research has found a significant link between dissociation and PTSD, not all findings have been supportive (Marshall & Schell, 2002). One reason for the inconsistent results may be the effects of an unknown variable, such as impulsivity (Evren et al., 2013). The purpose of the present study is to examine if impulsivity moderates the effect of dissociation on PTSD scores, as well as other related mental health outcomes (anxiety, depression, and self-blame). College students (N=505) completed an online survey consisting of a modified version of the Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (Kubany et al., 2000), then answered questions regarding their symptoms of dissociation, impulsivity, current mental health symptoms, and self-blame. Results showed significant main effects of dissociation and impulsivity on PTSD scores. Impulsivity did not seem to affect PTSD scores at low levels of dissociation. However, impulsivity seems to lead to increased PTSD at higher levels of dissociation. The effects of dissociation on PTSD and other outcomes were enhanced by the presence of high levels of impulsivity. Slight differences were noted for depression, anxiety, and self-blame symptoms. These findings suggest that impulsivity may be a key component in the development of PTSD and other problems after traumatic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Psychology Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781634824828
ISBN (Print)9781634824583
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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