Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The investigation aimed to identify cognitive correlates of chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in former East German political prisoners (PP). The pilot study developed a manual for rating cognitive processing during and after imprisonment. In the main study, blind raters rated semi-structured interviews with 26 PP wilhout PTSD and 26 with chronic PTSD. The groups did not differ in conditions of imprisonment, or sociodemographic variables. The majority of participants with chronic PTSD reported mental defeat during imprisonment whereas those without PTSD retained an autonomous frame of mind and did not give up. Participants with PTSD described to a larger extent than those without PTSD an overall feeling of alienation from other people and a feeling of permanent change for the worse in their personality and life. Participants without PTSD reported a greater oppositional political motivation prior to imprisonment. Mental defeat and alienation classified 90% of the participants correctly.


Journal article


Zeitschrift fur Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie

Publication Date





244 - 253