Prevalence and Associated Conditions
This chapter provides a review of research that estimates the incidence of traumatic stressors and PTSD. In addition, it explores conditions other than PTSD that may be a consequence of exposure to a traumatic event, and concludes with an examination of PTSD’s association with other conditions.
Traumatic Event Exposure
PTSD is relatively unique among DSM-IV-TR diagnoses in that its criteria require exposure to a traumatic event (only Acute Stress Disorder also has this requirement; APA, 2000). Thus it is relevant to consider the percentage of individuals who have been exposed to what the DSM defines as an extreme traumatic stressor and who consequently have the potential of developing PTSD. This section will address traumatic event exposure among both adults and children. It will also present the prevalence of events that, while not meeting the DSM-IV-TR criteria for an extreme traumatic stressor, may nevertheless be potentially upsetting.