No distance is too far between friends: associations of comfortable interpersonal distance with PTSD and anxiety symptoms in Israeli firefighters

Translated title of the contribution: No distance is too far between friends: associations of comfortable interpersonal distance with PTSD and anxiety symptoms in Israeli firefighters

Shilat Haim-Nachum, M. Roxanne Sopp, Tanja Michael, Simone Shamay-Tsoory, Einat Levy-Gigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Previous research indicates that PTSD patients may show alterations in interpersonal distance regulation (IDR). However, it is not clear whether altered IDR is correlated with psychopathology after trauma and whether attentional processes might be involved in these alterations. Objective: The current study investigated IDR and attentional processing in a sample of Israeli firefighters. Method: Twenty-four participants completed an experimental IDR task as well as measures of PTSD and anxiety. During the task, event-related potentials were recorded to assess attentional processing as reflected in the P1 and N1 components. Results: Participants who did not choose a closer distance towards friends than strangers experienced greater anxiety. Moreover, participants who showed attentional avoidance towards strangers reported more PTSD symptoms. By contrast, participants who showed hypervigilant attention towards strangers reported greater anxiety. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate an association between IDR, PTSD, and anxiety after trauma. Future studies should re-investigate these associations in larger samples and explore potential implications for prevention and treatment.

Translated title of the contributionNo distance is too far between friends: associations of comfortable interpersonal distance with PTSD and anxiety symptoms in Israeli firefighters
Original languageEnglish
Article number1899480
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • ERP
  • PTSD
  • Trauma exposure
  • anxiety
  • interpersonal distance

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