Appraisal of self, social environment, and the state authority as a possible mediator of posttraumatic stress disorder in tortured political activists

Basoglu, M., Paker, M., Ozmen, E., Tasdemir, O., Sahin, D., Ceyhanli, A., Incesu, C., & Sarimurat, N. (1996). Appraisal of self, social environment, and the state authority as a possible mediator of posttraumatic stress disorder in tortured political activists. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105:2, 232-236.

ABSTRACT

This study examined appraisal of self and others, as measured by semantic differential ratings of Police, State, Society, Family, Friend, Myself as a Man/Woman, and Myself as a Political Person, in 55 tortured political activists in Turkey, 55 nontortured political activists, and 55 nontortured, politically noninvolved controls. There were no remarkable differences between tortured and nontortured political activists; both groups differed from controls in having a more negative appraisal of the police and the state and stronger perceptions of danger, mistrust, and injustice in relation to state authority. Lack of beliefs concerning a “benevolent state” may have protected the survivors from the traumatic effects of state-perpetrated torture. Further research into the possible protective role of belief systems in posttraumatic stress disorder is needed.

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