Impulsivity facets' predictive relations with DSM-5 PTSD symptom clusters

Michelle E. Roley, Ateka A. Contractor, Nicole H. Weiss, Cherie Armour, Jon D. Elhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has a well-established theoretical and empirical relation with impulsivity. Prior research has not used a multidimensional approach for measuring both PTSD and impulsivity constructs when assessing their relationship. Method: The current study assessed the unique relationship of impulsivity facets on PTSD symptom clusters among a nonclinical sample of 412 trauma-exposed adults. Results: Linear regression analyses revealed that impulsivity facets best accounted for PTSD's arousal symptoms. The negative urgency facet of impulsivity was most predictive, because it was associated with all of PTSD's symptom clusters. Sensation seeking did not predict PTSD's intrusion symptoms, but did predict the other symptom clusters of PTSD. Lack of perseverance only predicted intrusion symptoms, while lack of premeditation only predicted PTSD's mood/cognition symptoms. Conclusions: Results extend theoretical and empirical research on the impulsivity-PTSD relationship, suggesting that impulsivity facets may serve as both risk and protective factors for PTSD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-79
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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