1. March 2022
New publi­ca­tion by Anja Rukundo-Zeller
© Hector Fellow Academy

Study by Anja Rukundo-Zeller on the mediat­ing role of shame on PTSD symptoms, published by Wiley

Traumatic events often cause post-traumatic stress disor­der (PTSD) and is especially common in post-war countries like Burundi. One partic­u­lar vulner­a­ble group being children, where the preva­lence rates for PTSD in Burun­dian children in street situa­tions range from 46%-63%. Early traumatic events lead to physi­o­log­i­cal reactions like suppress­ing anger, and is typically associ­ated with feelings of helpless­ness and shame.

To further explore the link between the sever­ity of PTSD symptoms and shame, Anja and other researchers in her group conducted inter­views with 33 male children who lived and worked on the streets of Burundi.

The follow­ing was hypoth­e­sized:
(1) shame acts as media­tor between lifetime traumatic events and PTSD symptom sever­ity, and
(2) shame mediates the relation­ship between violence experi­enced on the streets and PTSD symptom severity.

The results oft the collected data support the hypoth­e­sis. Keeping in mind the limita­tions, this finding may be an impulse to conduct further studies. By under­stand­ing the positive corre­la­tion between shame and PTSD, one could develop more holis­tic and effec­tive treat­ments for individ­u­als suffer­ing from PTSD

Congrat­u­la­tions to Anja Rukundo-Zeller!