PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and trauma: An examination of the influence of trauma type on comorbidity using a nationally representative sample
McMillan, Katherine A.
Asmundson, Gordon J. G.
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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are highly comorbid (Collimore et al., 2010). Trauma may present a shared environmental factor contributing to the development of comorbidity; however, existent research has been hampered by use of restrictive samples and limitations in the range of traumas investigated. The current study examines the relationship between a broad range of potentially traumatic events and the comorbidity between PTSD and SAD using Wave 2 of the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (n=34,653). Multiple logistic regressions and cross-tabulations were used to evaluate differences in the prevalence of potentially traumatic events among those who met criteria for comorbid PTSD-SAD compared to those with PTSD without SAD and SAD without PTSD. Those in the comorbid PTSD-SAD group were significantly more likely than those in the PTSD without SAD or SAD without PTSD groups to report experiencing specific types of assaultive violence, childhood maltreatment, and other shocking events. Associations between comorbidity and childhood maltreatment were significant for females only. Individuals diagnosed with comorbid PTSD-SAD are more likely than those diagnosed with either disorder alone to report exposure to specific types of traumatic events within their lifetime.