Socio-demographic and trauma-related predictors of PTSD within 8 weeks of a motor vehicle collision in the AURORA study

Ronald C. Kessler, Kerry J. Ressler, Stacey L. House, Francesca L. Beaudoin, Xinming An, Jennifer S. Stevens, Donglin Zeng, Thomas C. Neylan, Sarah D. Linnstaedt, Laura T. Germine, Paul I. Musey, Phyllis L. Hendry, Sophia Sheikh, Alan B. Storrow, Christopher W. Jones, Brittany E. Punches, Elizabeth M. Datner, Kamran Mohiuddin, Nina T. Gentile, Meghan E. McGrathSanne J. van Rooij, Lauren A. Hudak, John P. Haran, David A. Peak, Robert M. Domeier, Claire Pearson, Leon D. Sanchez, Niels K. Rathlev, William F. Peacock, Steven E. Bruce, Mark W. Miller, Jutta Joormann, Deanna M. Barch, Diego A. Pizzagalli, John F. Sheridan, Jordan W. Smoller, Thaddeus W.W. Pace, Steven E. Harte, James M. Elliott, Nathaniel G. Harnett, Lauren A.M. Lebois, Irving Hwang, Nancy A. Sampson, Karestan C. Koenen, Samuel A. McLean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This is the initial report of results from the AURORA multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience. We focus on n = 666 participants presenting to EDs following a motor vehicle collision (MVC) and examine associations of participant socio-demographic and participant-reported MVC characteristics with 8-week posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) adjusting for pre-MVC PTSD and mediated by peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week acute stress disorder (ASD). Peritraumatic Symptoms, ASD, and PTSD were assessed with self-report scales. Eight-week PTSD prevalence was relatively high (42.0%) and positively associated with participant sex (female), low socioeconomic status (education and income), and several self-report indicators of MVC severity. Most of these associations were entirely mediated by peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, ASD, suggesting that the first 2 weeks after trauma may be a uniquely important time period for intervening to prevent and reduce risk of PTSD. This observation, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated with more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3108-3121
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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