Nicotine and PTSD Symptom Duration
Stewart, Thomas C.
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This study examines the relationship between nicotine and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom duration. The research conducted was a quantitative analysis of the duration of PTSD symptomatology of smokers versus non-smokers with smoking viewed as a pattern of self medicating behavior as defined by Khantzian & Albanese (2008). This research observed if nicotine, similar to other substances, when utilized as a self-medicating substance to alter feelings induced by PTSD symptomatology, would prolong habituation and processing of the negative affect associated with the traumatic event and thereby prolong PTSD symptom duration. The research conducted utilized a sample of a total of 604 respondents who had met the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD and was conducted via a secondary data analysis using data gathered from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) of Mental Health. The NCS-R measured PTSD symptoms reported to be present or related to a diagnosis of PTSD (Lifetime) as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4 th ed., text revision, American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Although the new DSM-5 (2013) has been published in the time between this writer's research proposal and the execution of this research, this writer maintained use of the DSM-TV (1994) and DSM-IV-TR (2000) PTSD symptom criteria since the questions asked of the respondents were based on the older three cluster symptom criteria and not the newer four cluster symptom criteria found in the DSM-5 (2013). The data was analyzed by the use of Stata IC 12. The multivariate linear regression revealed that when all three PTSD symptom clusters where measured together there was a statistically significant relationship between duration of PTSD symptom presence and total number of years smoked (Prob > F = 0.005, N=280).
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