Correlates of Lifetime Exposure to One or More Potentially Traumatic Events and Subsequent Posttraumatic Stress among Adults in the United States: Results from the Mental Health Surveillance Study, 2008-2012

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Data Review or Analytical Report


With growing recognition of the impact of trauma exposure on behavioral health outcomes, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is interested in evaluating associations between potentially traumatic events (PTEs) with mental health and substance use issues. The 2008-2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Mental Health Surveillance Study (MHSS) defined and measured posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as part of an effort to estimate serious mental illness among adults in the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population. The module on PTSD collected as part of the MHSS can be used to measure lifetime exposure to one or more PTEs, as well as subsequent posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), including symptom clusters that meet criteria for past year PTSD among adults. This report uses NSDUH and MHSS data to study the association among PTEs, PTSS, and physical and behavioral health conditions.

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