Self-Compassion as a prospective predictor of PTSD symptom severity among trauma-exposed U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Published

Journal Article

U.S. combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have elevated rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to the general population. Self-compassion, characterized by self-kindness, a sense of common humanity when faced with suffering, and mindful awareness of suffering, is a potentially modifiable factor implicated in the development and maintenance of PTSD. We examined the concurrent and prospective relationship between self-compassion and PTSD symptom severity after accounting for level of combat exposure and baseline PTSD severity in 115 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans exposed to 1 or more traumatic events during deployment. PTSD symptoms were assessed using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-IV (CAPS-IV) at baseline and 12 months (n =101). Self-compassion and combat exposure were assessed at baseline via self-report. Self-compassion was associated with baseline PTSD symptoms after accounting for combat exposure (β = -.59; p < .001; ΔR(2) = .34; f(2) = .67; large effect) and predicted 12-month PTSD symptom severity after accounting for combat exposure and baseline PTSD severity (β = -.24; p = .008; ΔR(2) = .03; f(2) = .08; small effect). Findings suggest that interventions that increase self-compassion may be beneficial for treating chronic PTSD symptoms among some Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hiraoka, R; Meyer, EC; Kimbrel, NA; DeBeer, BB; Gulliver, SB; Morissette, SB

Published Date

  • April 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 127 - 133

PubMed ID

  • 25808565

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25808565

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6598

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/jts.21995

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States