Associations between posttraumatic stress symptomatology and lifestyle factors

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily Raye Hooker (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
David McCord

Abstract: The current study examines the potential associations between symptoms accompanying Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and key lifestyle variables, including sleep components, nutrition, and general physical fitness. The purpose of this study is to determine if there are associations between the lifestyle variables of nutrition, sleep components, and physical fitness levels and PTSD-related symptomatology. Rather than relying on a dichotomous/categorical definition of PTSD as represented, for example, in the DSM-5,] this syndrome will be operationalized using relevant symptom constructs based on current dimensional models of psychopathology. The sample of 288 participants filled out a Consent Form, the MMPI-2-RF, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a nutrition survey, a fitness survey, and demographic information. A canonical correlation analysis was conducted using the three lifestyle variables as predictors of the 4 posttraumatic stress dysfunction variables to evaluate the multivariate shared relationship between the two variables sets. The full model was statistically significant with a Wilk's ? of .741, F (12, 632.63) = 6.300, p < .000. After reviewing previous research and the findings of this study, it is speculated that the symptoms associated with PTSD have consequences on one's daily lifestyle health behaviors and/or that the way one lives in terms of their health can make posttraumatic stress worse or better depending on directionality. Therefore, by altering one's lifestyle behaviors to create habits consistent with healthy levels of sleep, fitness, and nutrition it is possible that the intensity and duration of PTSD symptoms can be reduced.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Fitness, Health Psychology, Nutrition, PTSD, Sleep, Trauma
Post-traumatic stress disorder -- Pathophysiology
Stress (Psychology) -- Physiological aspects

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