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Social cognition and interpersonal relationships in individuals with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Davies, Holly 2015. Social cognition and interpersonal relationships in individuals with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ClinPsy Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Social cognition is an area of growing interest in mental health research. Impairments in social cognition have been found in a variety of conditions. Impairments in these processes can lead to relationship difficulties; relationships are instrumental in the management and recovery from difficulties. Few studies have focused on emotional recognition in a PTSD population, this study aimed to expand on the current literature by looking at the associations between emotional recognition and interpersonal relationships. Twenty-seven individuals were recruited to participate, along with age and gender matched healthy controls. They completed two emotional recognition tasks (auditory and facial) and self-report questionnaires measuring views on interpersonal relationships and social support. Those with PTSD were found to have generalised impairments in facial recognition when compared to controls and specific impairments in auditory recognition. The emotions of fear, sadness and disgust were consistently recognised with less accuracy across tasks. No gender differences in accuracy on tasks were found in the PTSD group performance. Comparisons between trauma groups (childhood or adulthood traumas) found no differences in accuracy rates. Significant differences were found between the clinical and control groups on the interpersonal relationship questionnaires, with the PTSD group reporting greater difficulties. Partial associations were found between lower accuracy scores on recognition tasks and reported difficulties in interpersonal relationships. The emotion of sadness on the auditory recognition task mediated the relationship between trauma and interpersonal difficulties. These findings support the view that interventions should also target interpersonal difficulties in PTSD.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2016 02:30

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