Added: June 4, 2016 – Last updated: June 4, 2016


Authors: Jonathan Purtle, Katherine Lynn, and Mashal Malik

Title: "Calculating the Toll of Trauma" in the Headlines

Subtitle: Portrayals of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the New York Times (1980-2015)

Journal: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

Volume: Published online before print


Year: May 16, 2016


ISSN: 0002-9432 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1939-0025 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century, 21st Century | American History: U.S. History | Representations: Press


Link: APA PsycNET (Restricted Access)


Authors: Jonathan Purtle, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel UniversityResearchGate

Abstract: »Public awareness about traumatic stress is needed to address trauma as a public health issue. News media influence public awareness, but little is known about how traumatic-related disorders are portrayed in the news. A content analysis was conducted of all articles that mentioned posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in The New York Times between 1980-2015. There were 871 articles analyzed. The number of PTSD articles published annually increased dramatically, from 2 in 1980 to 70 in 2014. Overall, 50.6% of articles were focused on military populations. Combat was identified as the trauma exposure in 38.0% of articles, while sexual assault was identified in 8.7%. Negative themes such as crimes perpetrated by people with possible PTSD (18.0%) and substance abuse (11.5%) were prominent, substance abuse being more prevalent in articles focused on military populations (16.4% vs. 6.3%, p = <.001). Only 9.1% of articles mentioned PTSD treatment options and this theme became less prevalent over time-ranging from 19.4% of articles published between 1980-1995 to just 5.7% of articles published between 2005-2015 (p = <.001). Results suggest that public awareness of PTSD has increased, but may be incomplete, inaccurate, and perpetuate PTSD stigma at individual- and institutional-levels. These findings can inform advocacy strategies that enhance public awareness about PTSD and traumatic stress.« (Source: )

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1980–91), History of the United States (1991–present) | Newspaper: The New York Times