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Feelings of revenge, retaliation motive, and posttraumatic stress reactions in crime victims


Orth, Ulrich; Montada, Leo; Maercker, Andreas (2006). Feelings of revenge, retaliation motive, and posttraumatic stress reactions in crime victims. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(2):229-243.

Abstract

Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often said to experience strong feelings of revenge. However, there is a need for confirmatory empirical studies. Therefore, in a study of 174 victims of violent crimes, the relation between feelings of revenge and posttraumatic stress reactions was investigated. Feelings of revenge were correlated with intrusion and hyperarousal but not with avoidance. Feelings of revenge explained incremental variance of intrusion and hyperarousal when the variance explained by victimological variables was controlled. The retaliation motive implied in feelings of revenge did not account for the relation between feelings of revenge and posttraumatic stress reactions. However, the relation was moderated by the time since victimization. Therefore, feelings of revenge must presumably be regarded as a maladaptive coping reaction to experienced injustice, but not in the first period after victimization.

Abstract

Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often said to experience strong feelings of revenge. However, there is a need for confirmatory empirical studies. Therefore, in a study of 174 victims of violent crimes, the relation between feelings of revenge and posttraumatic stress reactions was investigated. Feelings of revenge were correlated with intrusion and hyperarousal but not with avoidance. Feelings of revenge explained incremental variance of intrusion and hyperarousal when the variance explained by victimological variables was controlled. The retaliation motive implied in feelings of revenge did not account for the relation between feelings of revenge and posttraumatic stress reactions. However, the relation was moderated by the time since victimization. Therefore, feelings of revenge must presumably be regarded as a maladaptive coping reaction to experienced injustice, but not in the first period after victimization.

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40 citations in Web of Science®
43 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2006
Deposited On:31 Oct 2012 14:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:02
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0886-2605
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260505282286
PubMed ID:16368763

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