The role of locus of control and coping style in predicting longitudinal PTSD-trajectories after combat exposure

Karen-Inge Karstoft, Cherie Armour, Ask Elklit, Zahava Solomon

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While longitudinal posttraumatic stress responses are known to be heterogeneous, little is known about predictors of those responses. We investigated if locus of control (LOC) and coping style are associated with long-term PTSD-trajectories after exposure to combat. Six hundred and seventy five Israeli soldiers with or without combat stress reaction (CSR) from the Lebanon war were assessed 1, 2, and 20 years after the war. Combat exposure, LOC, and coping style were then investigated as covariates of the trajectories of resilience, recovery, delayed onset, and chronicity. Symptomatic trajectories in the CSR and the non-CSR group were significantly associated to varying degrees with perceived life threat during combat (ORs: 1.76–2.53), internal LOC (0.77–0.87), emotional coping style (0.28–0.34), and low use of problem-focused coping (2.12–3.11). In conclusion, assessment of LOC and coping can aid prediction of chronic PTSD outcomes of combat exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Early online date28 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2015



  • Trauma
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Combat
  • Coping
  • Locus of control
  • Veterans

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