Anger, aggression, and self-harm in PTSD and complex PTSD

K.F.W. Dyer, M.J. Dorahy, G. Hamilton, M. Corry, M. Shannon, A. MacSherry, G. McRobert, R. Elder, B. McElhill

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61 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the contribution of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis and symptomatology to the difficulties of anger, aggression, and self-harm in a Northern Ireland clinical community sample. A "current complex PTSD" (CCPTSD) group (n = 11) was compared with a "current PTSD" group (n = 31) on self-report measures of these variables. The CCPTSD group demonstrated significantly higher levels of physical aggression and selfharm than the PTSD group. The complex PTSD symptom of 'alterations in self-perception' was a significant predictor of aggression and history of self-harm, suggesting the potential role of posttraumatic shame and self-loathing in PTSD theoretical models of these destructive behaviors. Social desirability was a notable confounding influence in the assessment of anger, aggression, and self-harm in traumatised individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1114
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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