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The Applicability of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to Women of Non-Western Cultures

Dugan, Jorie

This report investigates Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stemming from
post-conflict and refugee situations in women of non-Western cultures. More specifically,
it examines PTSD as a construction of the West, modeling a white, male-dominated,
independent-culture, which leads to many limitations when the same diagnostic and
therapeutic mechanisms are applied to cultures with different ideologies, values, and
social constructions. This paper argues that not only is PTSD culturally insensitive, thus
requiring adaptation to local context when post-traumatic symptoms are being examined
and/or treated, but PTSD is also not gender sensitive. Trauma is presented and
experienced differently in women than in men across cultures, and therefore PTSD – the
discourse, conceptions, and practical applications of diagnosis and treatment – must
expand to support the unique and multifaceted psycho-traumatic experiences of women.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology (Barnard College)
Thesis Advisors
Seeley, Karen M.
Degree
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
May 12, 2011
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