Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Posttraumatic stress disorder – most often suffered by civilians

Jonathan Purtle, Katherine Lynn, Mashal Malik. Calculating the Toll of Trauma’ in the Headlines: Portrayals of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the New York Times (1980–2015).. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1037/ort0000187

“Public awareness about traumatic stress is needed to address trauma as a public health issue. News media influence public awareness, but little is known about how traumatic-related disorders are portrayed in the news. A content analysis was conducted of all articles that mentioned posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in The New York Times between 1980–2015. There were 871 articles analyzed. The number of PTSD articles published annually increased dramatically, from 2 in 1980 to 70 in 2014. Overall, 50.6% of articles were focused on military populations. Combat was identified as the trauma exposure in 38.0% of articles, while sexual assault was identified in 8.7%. Negative themes such as crimes perpetrated by people with possible PTSD (18.0%) and substance abuse (11.5%) were prominent, substance abuse being more prevalent in articles focused on military populations (16.4% vs. 6.3%, p = <.001). Only 9.1% of articles mentioned PTSD treatment options and this theme became less prevalent over time—ranging from 19.4% of articles published between 1980–1995 to just 5.7% of articles published between 2005–2015 (p = <.001). Results suggest that public awareness of PTSD has increased, but may be incomplete, inaccurate, and perpetuate PTSD stigma at individual- and institutional-levels. These findings can inform advocacy strategies that enhance public awareness about PTSD and traumatic stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved) “

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.