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!