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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

PTSD in surviving family members of drunk driving episodes: victim and crime-related factors

Author: Sprang, G.
Author Background:
Type Journal
Journal Title: Families in Society
Volume/Pages 78(6) 632-641
Subject Matter drunk driving victims, PTSD, grief
Abstract Victims of drunk driving who die suffer an unnecessary and violent death, which intensifies the surviving family members' psychological response to the trauma. Grief models that elaborate stages of the bereavement process, although useful, are not helpful for measuring the biopsychosocial response to this type of death. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), however, is proposed as a dimension of the grief response. Victim and crime-related characteristics are compared to determine the associations between variables and the occurrence of PTSD symptomatology in victim and nonvictim groups. The results have assessment and treatment implications for mental health professionals who work with individuals and families. (Journal abstract.)