Cognitive content and processes are central to theories of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this paper, we highlight recent findings on cognitive factors in PTSD. Evidence for the role of negative post-traumatic cognitions in PTSD has continued to mount, with cognitions mediating PTSD symptoms and predicting PTSD over and above other key variables. Researchers have also continued to implicate cognitive processes like rumination in the development and maintenance of PTSD. Finally, we review how cognitive-behavioral therapies interrupt dysfunctional cognitive processes in PTSD and highlight research supporting the theory that changes in cognitions are the mechanism of these treatments.
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