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A Paradox in Individual Versus National Mental Health Vulnerability: Are Higher Resource Levels Associated With Higher Disorder Prevalence?

Dückers, ML; Brewin, CR; (2016) A Paradox in Individual Versus National Mental Health Vulnerability: Are Higher Resource Levels Associated With Higher Disorder Prevalence? Journal of Traumatic Stress , 29 (6) pp. 572-576. 10.1002/jts.22144. Green open access

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Abstract

An earlier study (Dückers, Alisic, & Brewin, 2016) found that countries with greater social and economic resources were characterized by a higher lifetime prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here, we present a similar analysis of national population survey data to examine this vulnerability paradox in relation to other disorders. We predicted the lifetime prevalence of any mental health disorder (i.e., anxiety, mood, substance, and externalizing disorders) in 17 countries based on trauma exposure and country vulnerability data. A substantial proportion of variance in all disorder categories, 32.9% to 53.9%, could be explained by trauma exposure. Explained variance increased by 5 and up to 40 percentage points after adding the variable of vulnerability to the equation. Higher exposure and lower vulnerability levels were accompanied by a higher prevalence in any mental disorder, with the largest effect size in mood disorders (R(2) = .76). The interaction between exposure and vulnerability did not explain significant additional variance as it did for PTSD. Because a PTSD diagnosis links psychological, physical, and functional symptoms explicitly to trauma exposure, this might mean that populations in less-vulnerable countries are more likely to attribute health complaints to exposure. The results of this study suggest that country-level data can help to better explain the multilayered mechanisms of resilience and vulnerability in the context of trauma.

Type: Article
Title: A Paradox in Individual Versus National Mental Health Vulnerability: Are Higher Resource Levels Associated With Higher Disorder Prevalence?
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/jts.22144
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jts.22144
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Dückers, M. L. A. and Brewin, C. R. (2016), A Paradox in Individual Versus National Mental Health Vulnerability: Are Higher Resource Levels Associated With Higher Disorder Prevalence?. J. Traum. Stress, 29: 572–576. doi: 10.1002/jts.22144], which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jts.22144. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1531770
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