USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Max Owens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida at St. Petersburg



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Date Available


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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop following viewing or subjection to a traumatic event. This disorder is associated with symptoms that include avoidance, intrusion, negative cognitive /mood alteration as well, as changes in arousal and reactivity (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). PTSD has undergone many transitions within the Diagnostic Statistical Manual causing legal implications, confusion on classification of traumatic events, misdiagnoses, and malingering (Zoellner, Bedard-Gilligan, Jun, Marks, and Garcia, 2013). The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) created the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) to observe mental health conditions using underlying diagnostic structures and incorporating neuroscience in research and treatment of disorders. In this literature review, ah assessment will be made of previous research observing the limitations of the DSM while highlighting the benefits of the RDoC. Specifically, the ability to assess personality traits and their association with emotional dysregulation from a dimensional perspective. Based on previous literature, personality traits may influence the expression of symptoms in patients with PTSD. Observing how personality and emotional regulation are related may provide insight as to ways individuals may respond to trauma. Additionally, this review will direct further research towards forming new approaches to properly diagnose and treat PTSD.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University of Honors Program University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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