Traumatic events and mental health in the community: a New Zealand study

Nikolaos Kazantzis, Ross Flett, Nigel R Long, Carol Benie MacDonald, Michelle M Millar, Bronwyn Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Adverse mental health effects in response to a variety of distressing events in specific populations are well documented. However, comparatively little research has been conducted within large community samples outside North America. Aims: To assess the prevalence and psychological impact of specific traumatic events in a New Zealand community sample. Methods: Prevalence and psychological impact of 12 traumatic events was examined in a community sample of 1,500 New Zealand adults using a three-stage cluster sampling method. Traumatic events, psychological distress, psychological well-being, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms were assessed using modifi ed versions of the Traumatic Stress Schedule, Mental Health Inventory, and Civilian Mississippi Scale. The effects of age, gender and ethnicity were controlled for while assessing impact of traumatic events. Results: Sixty-one per cent of the sample experienced trauma events in their lifetime, with 9 experiencing events in the past year. Accident-related events were most common in the present sample. Violent crime produced the greatest impact. Tests of interactions involving age, gender, and ethnicity were not significant. Conclusions: New Zealand community-residing individuals experience post-traumatic stress symptoms, reduced psychological well-being, and increased psychological distress following the experience of violent crime and accidents specifically. Study limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35 - 49
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Kazantzis, Nikolaos ; Flett, Ross ; Long, Nigel R ; MacDonald, Carol Benie ; Millar, Michelle M ; Clark, Bronwyn. / Traumatic events and mental health in the community: a New Zealand study. In: International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2010 ; Vol. 56, No. 1. pp. 35 - 49.
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abstract = "Background: Adverse mental health effects in response to a variety of distressing events in specific populations are well documented. However, comparatively little research has been conducted within large community samples outside North America. Aims: To assess the prevalence and psychological impact of specific traumatic events in a New Zealand community sample. Methods: Prevalence and psychological impact of 12 traumatic events was examined in a community sample of 1,500 New Zealand adults using a three-stage cluster sampling method. Traumatic events, psychological distress, psychological well-being, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms were assessed using modifi ed versions of the Traumatic Stress Schedule, Mental Health Inventory, and Civilian Mississippi Scale. The effects of age, gender and ethnicity were controlled for while assessing impact of traumatic events. Results: Sixty-one per cent of the sample experienced trauma events in their lifetime, with 9 experiencing events in the past year. Accident-related events were most common in the present sample. Violent crime produced the greatest impact. Tests of interactions involving age, gender, and ethnicity were not significant. Conclusions: New Zealand community-residing individuals experience post-traumatic stress symptoms, reduced psychological well-being, and increased psychological distress following the experience of violent crime and accidents specifically. Study limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.",
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Traumatic events and mental health in the community: a New Zealand study. / Kazantzis, Nikolaos; Flett, Ross; Long, Nigel R; MacDonald, Carol Benie; Millar, Michelle M; Clark, Bronwyn.

In: International Journal of Social Psychiatry, Vol. 56, No. 1, 2010, p. 35 - 49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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