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Clinical Science Brown Bag Series: Matt Morris

Tuesday, September 09, 2014,

  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 316

Matt Morris, Meharry Medical College

12:10 p.m. Room 316, Wilson Hall

The psychobiology of recovery from interpersonal violence

Interpersonal violence is highly prevalent in the United States and is a major public health problem. Women are at an especially high risk for exposure to physical or sexual assault, which in turn is associated with negative academic, behavioral, physical health, and mental health outcomes. Although women are twice as likely as men to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during their lifetimes, the psychosocial and neurobiological factors associated with PTSD risk in women are not well-understood. While many women develop some symptoms of PTSD following a traumatic event, most recover within several months. This presentation will focus on the role of psychosocial (childhood trauma, coping strategies) and neurobiological factors (salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase secretion) in distinguishing those women who struggle to recover from interpersonal violence. Preliminary findings will be presented from an ongoing study involving repeated assessments of coping and stress response system function over a 6-month period in women who have recently experienced interpersonal violence. Results of this study may help to identify individual differences in risk factors associated with PTSD onset that could be used to develop more effective early intervention programs.