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Title: The role of environmental sensitivity in post-traumatic stress symptoms in Lebanese children and adolescents
Authors: Karam, Elie G
Fayyad, John
Huang, Yuanyuan
Saab, Dahlia
Al Barathie, Josleen
Pluess, Michael
Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine 
Faculty of Medicine 
Keywords: PTSD
Childhood adversities
Environmental sensitivity
Positive home experiences
Issue Date: 2024-01-22
Part of: Development and Psychopathology
Children differ substantially in their sensitivity to the quality of their environment. Some are more sensitive and more likely to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in response to Childhood Adversities (CAs), but might also benefit more from Positive Home Experiences (PHE). The aim of this study is to investigate the role of Environmental Sensitivity (ES), CAs and PHEs in PTSD development in children and adolescents. Data was collected from N = 2,569 children/adolescents. PTSD symptoms, CAs, PHEs and ES were assessed with self-report measures. We found that higher ES and CAs emerged as risk factors for PTSD development whereas higher levels of PHEs protected against PTSD. ES moderated the effects of CAs (β = 1.08, p < .001) on PTSD symptoms in the total sample. This moderating effect was more pronounced in girls, suggesting that highly sensitive girls with high childhood adversities were more likely to have higher PTSD symptoms than girls with low levels of sensitivity (β = 1.09, p < .001). In conclusion, Environmental Sensitivity played an important role as a risk factor for PTSD and as a moderating factor that accentuated the main effects of childhood adversities, particularly in girls.
ISSN: 09545794
DOI: 10.1017/S0954579423001554
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine

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