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Inhibitory control as possible risk and/or resilience factor for the development of trauma related symptoms–a study of the Utøya terror attack survivors

Hammar, Åsa LU ; Schmid, Marit Therese ; Petersdotter, Linn LU ; Ousdal, Olga Therese and Milde, Anne Marita (2023) In Applied Neuropsychology:Adult
Abstract

PTSD symptomatology is known to be associated with executive dysfunction. Inhibitory control is a core component of executive functioning, and inhibitory skills are essential both for adequate functioning in everyday life and important in situations following trauma. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between trauma exposure, inhibitory control and PTSD symptomatology in adolescent survivors of the terror attack at Utøya, Norway on the 22nd of July, 2011. In this cross-sectional case-control study, 20 trauma exposed adolescents and 20 healthy controls matched in age and gender were compared on a neuropsychological test of cognitive inhibition (Color-Word Interference Test) and a self-report measure of... (More)

PTSD symptomatology is known to be associated with executive dysfunction. Inhibitory control is a core component of executive functioning, and inhibitory skills are essential both for adequate functioning in everyday life and important in situations following trauma. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between trauma exposure, inhibitory control and PTSD symptomatology in adolescent survivors of the terror attack at Utøya, Norway on the 22nd of July, 2011. In this cross-sectional case-control study, 20 trauma exposed adolescents and 20 healthy controls matched in age and gender were compared on a neuropsychological test of cognitive inhibition (Color-Word Interference Test) and a self-report measure of inhibition ability (BRIEF-A). Our analyses revealed that the trauma exposed group differed significantly on the self-reported measure of inhibitory control compared to the control group, but there were no differences between groups on the objective measures of cognitive inhibition. Follow-up analyses with subgroups in the trauma exposed group based on PTSD symptomatology (PTSD + and PTSD-) and the control group revealed that the PTSD- group showed significantly better results than both the PTSD + and the control group on the measures of inhibitory control. Moreover, the follow-up analyses showed that the PTSD + group showed significantly poorer results from the other two groups on the measures of inhibitory control and self-reported inhibition. We conclude that impaired inhibitory control, measured both objectively and by self-reported questionnaire, is related to PTSD symptomatology. Findings suggest that inhibitory dysfunctions may be a vulnerability factor for the development of PTSD symptomatology in trauma exposed adolescents, and thus it seems that the ability to exhibit inhibitory control could be a possible resilience factor to prevent the development of PTSD symptoms.

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author
; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Executive function, inhibition, inhibitory control, posttraumatic stress disorder, trauma exposure
in
Applied Neuropsychology:Adult
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • pmid:37672478
  • scopus:85169912233
ISSN
2327-9095
DOI
10.1080/23279095.2023.2253553
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bbd0ce6e-58c0-47a2-a961-ff9085f1e8f4
date added to LUP
2023-11-03 10:47:19
date last changed
2024-02-18 21:58:24
@article{bbd0ce6e-58c0-47a2-a961-ff9085f1e8f4,
  abstract     = {{<p>PTSD symptomatology is known to be associated with executive dysfunction. Inhibitory control is a core component of executive functioning, and inhibitory skills are essential both for adequate functioning in everyday life and important in situations following trauma. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between trauma exposure, inhibitory control and PTSD symptomatology in adolescent survivors of the terror attack at Utøya, Norway on the 22nd of July, 2011. In this cross-sectional case-control study, 20 trauma exposed adolescents and 20 healthy controls matched in age and gender were compared on a neuropsychological test of cognitive inhibition (Color-Word Interference Test) and a self-report measure of inhibition ability (BRIEF-A). Our analyses revealed that the trauma exposed group differed significantly on the self-reported measure of inhibitory control compared to the control group, but there were no differences between groups on the objective measures of cognitive inhibition. Follow-up analyses with subgroups in the trauma exposed group based on PTSD symptomatology (PTSD + and PTSD-) and the control group revealed that the PTSD- group showed significantly better results than both the PTSD + and the control group on the measures of inhibitory control. Moreover, the follow-up analyses showed that the PTSD + group showed significantly poorer results from the other two groups on the measures of inhibitory control and self-reported inhibition. We conclude that impaired inhibitory control, measured both objectively and by self-reported questionnaire, is related to PTSD symptomatology. Findings suggest that inhibitory dysfunctions may be a vulnerability factor for the development of PTSD symptomatology in trauma exposed adolescents, and thus it seems that the ability to exhibit inhibitory control could be a possible resilience factor to prevent the development of PTSD symptoms.</p>}},
  author       = {{Hammar, Åsa and Schmid, Marit Therese and Petersdotter, Linn and Ousdal, Olga Therese and Milde, Anne Marita}},
  issn         = {{2327-9095}},
  keywords     = {{Executive function; inhibition; inhibitory control; posttraumatic stress disorder; trauma exposure}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  publisher    = {{Taylor & Francis}},
  series       = {{Applied Neuropsychology:Adult}},
  title        = {{Inhibitory control as possible risk and/or resilience factor for the development of trauma related symptoms–a study of the Utøya terror attack survivors}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2023.2253553}},
  doi          = {{10.1080/23279095.2023.2253553}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}