Title

Stress Reactions to War Narratives

Poster Number

39

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Gary Howells

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have shown to have strong emotional response to aversive stimuli (Adenauer et al., 2010). Moreover, narrative exposure therapy is often used to treat PSTD patients (Robjant & Fazel, 2010). The current study used aversive and positive narratives depicting two extreme arguments regarding United States warfare in Iraq and a neutral unrelated topic condition. Participants in this study were undergraduate students from a small liberal arts university in Northern California who were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. Participants in condition one listened to a short narrative on death counts and war atrocities in Iraq while viewing graphic pictures, condition two described some positive benefits of the war in Iraq while viewing pictures of soldiers aiding the Iraqi people, and condition three served as a control with neutral stimuli. Following the exposure, participants in each condition were prompted to rewrite the narrative they had heard from memory and complete the Zung Self-Report Anxiety Scale. Analyses on a subset of two participants yielded no significant differences between the aversive, positive, and neutral conditions in regard to effects on anxiety. Final results will be discussed in the context of understanding the effects of exposure to anxiety inducing situations.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

21-4-2011 6:00 PM

End Date

21-4-2011 8:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 6:00 PM Apr 21st, 8:00 PM

Stress Reactions to War Narratives

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have shown to have strong emotional response to aversive stimuli (Adenauer et al., 2010). Moreover, narrative exposure therapy is often used to treat PSTD patients (Robjant & Fazel, 2010). The current study used aversive and positive narratives depicting two extreme arguments regarding United States warfare in Iraq and a neutral unrelated topic condition. Participants in this study were undergraduate students from a small liberal arts university in Northern California who were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. Participants in condition one listened to a short narrative on death counts and war atrocities in Iraq while viewing graphic pictures, condition two described some positive benefits of the war in Iraq while viewing pictures of soldiers aiding the Iraqi people, and condition three served as a control with neutral stimuli. Following the exposure, participants in each condition were prompted to rewrite the narrative they had heard from memory and complete the Zung Self-Report Anxiety Scale. Analyses on a subset of two participants yielded no significant differences between the aversive, positive, and neutral conditions in regard to effects on anxiety. Final results will be discussed in the context of understanding the effects of exposure to anxiety inducing situations.