Ethnoracial differences in PTSD symptoms and trauma-related cognitions in treatment-seeking active duty military personnel for PTSD

Brittany N. Hall-Clark, Antonia N. Kaczkurkin, Anu Asnaani, Jody Zhong, Alan L. Peterson, Jeffrey S. Yarvis, Elisa V. Borah, Katherine A. Dondanville, Elizabeth A. Hembree, Brett T. Litz, Jim Mintz, Stacey Young-McCaughan, Edna B. Foa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: It is uncertain whether ethnoracial factors should be considered by clinicians assessing and treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among service members. The purpose of this study was to shed light on ethnoracial variation in the presentation of PTSD symptoms, trauma-related cognitions, and emotions among treatment-seeking active duty military personnel. Method: Participants were 303 male active duty military members with PTSD participating in a clinical trial (60% were self-identified as White, 19% as African American, and 21% as Hispanic/Latino). In the parent study, participants completed a baseline assessment that included clinician-Administered and self-report measures of PTSD, trauma-related cognitions, and emotions. Results: Multivariate hierarchical regression models were used to examine ethnoracial differences in these variables, covarying age, education, military grade, combat exposure, and exposure to other potentially traumatic events. Hispanic/Latino and African American participants reported more reexperiencing symptoms, more fear, and more guilt and numbing than White participants. All effect sizes were in the small to medium range. Conclusions: These findings suggest ethnoracial variation in PTSD symptom burden and posttraumatic cognitions among treatment-seeking service members with PTSD. Attending to cultural factors related to differences in PTSD presentation and cognitive coping strategies during the assessment and treatment process could increase rapport and lead to more comprehensive trauma processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-745
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Active duty
  • Ethnic
  • Military
  • PTSD
  • Racial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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