Monitoring and blunting: Implications for combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder

Zahava Solomon, Mario Mikulincer, Rivka Arad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study examines the impact of monitoring-blunting strategies on combat-related psychopathology among soldiers who suffered a combat stress reaction episode during the 1982 Lebanon War. For this purpose, we assessed subjects' habitual use of monitoring and blunting, their mental health status 2 years are participation in war (PTSD, general psychiatric symptomatology, and problems in social functioning), their trauma-related intrusion and avoidance tendencies, and their habitual coping styles. Results show that soldiers who rely primarily on monitoring strategies suffer the least from trauma-related psychopathology. The use of blunting strategies was associated with more severe psychopathology. In addition, monitors tend to rely on problem-focused coping strategies, while blunters tend to rely on emotion-focused coping strategies. Results are discussed in terms of Miller's conceptualization of styles of information seeking under threat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1991

Keywords

  • blunting
  • combat-related PTSD
  • monitoring

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