UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


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

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Emergency Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Psychology | Trauma


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.


Psychiatric disorders, Psychology

DOI of Published Version



Kessler RC, Ressler KJ, House SL, Beaudoin FL, An X, Stevens JS, Zeng D, Neylan TC, Linnstaedt SD, Germine LT, Musey PI Jr, Hendry PL, Sheikh S, Storrow AB, Jones CW, Punches BE, Datner EM, Mohiuddin K, Gentile NT, McGrath ME, van Rooij SJ, Hudak LA, Haran JP, Peak DA, Domeier RM, Pearson C, Sanchez LD, Rathlev NK, Peacock WF, Bruce SE, Miller MW, Joormann J, Barch DM, Pizzagalli DA, Sheridan JF, Smoller JW, Pace TWW, Harte SE, Elliott JM, Harnett NG, Lebois LAM, Hwang I, Sampson NA, Koenen KC, McLean SA. Socio-demographic and trauma-related predictors of PTSD within 8 weeks of a motor vehicle collision in the AURORA study. Mol Psychiatry. 2020 Oct 19. doi: 10.1038/s41380-020-00911-3. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33077855. Link to article on publisher's site


Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see article.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular psychiatry

PubMed ID