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Previous research on vulnerability to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been restricted by the absence of prospective studies that measure individual differences prior to traumatization. This study investigated the predictors of analogue post-traumatic intrusive cognitions using a fully prospective design. Non-patient participants completed a range of predictor measures before being exposed to a film about a traumatic fire. Film-induced changes in negative mood were also assessed. Subsequent intrusions were measured both within the experimental session and for a further seven days. The hypothesized predictors were: neuroticism, trait anxiety, extraversion, depression, a general tendency to suppress unpleasant thoughts, beliefs about being 'at risk' from fire, mental imagery, self-rated proneness to intrusions and negative mood changes. The results showed that intrusions were predicted by film-induced increases in negative mood, thought suppression tendencies, beliefs about vulnerability to fire and self-rated proneness to intrusive cognitions. The findings are discussed in relation to the literature on thought suppression and cognitive processes in PTSD.


Journal article


Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Publication Date





303 - 314