Thought Control: Is It Ability, Strategies, or Both That Predicts Posttraumatic Symptomatology in Victims of Interpersonal Trauma?



Cognitive models of PTSD have implicated thought control in the development, maintenance, and recovery from PTSD. The present study extends previous research on thought control (ability and strategies) and it’s relation to posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in a sample of interpersonal trauma (IPT) survivors. Results revealed that weak thought control ability mediated the relationship between accumulated discrete IPT experiences and PTSS severity. Weak thought control ability was associated with greater use of thought control strategies, and thought control strategies of punishment and suppression added significant variance over and above the effects of accumulated IPT experiences and thought control ability in predicting PTSS severity. Furthermore, weak thought control ability was related to greater PTSS severity through the use of punishment and suppression thought control strategies. The present findings extend previous research and provide further support for theoretical assumptions of current treatment approaches for PTSD.


Thought control ability Thought control strategies Interpersonal trauma Posttraumatic stress 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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