Traumatic life events may lead to diverse psychopathological outcomes alongside different symptom constellations. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between early victimization, PTSD symptoms and re-offending risk in prisoner populations. The overall hypothesis was that dysfunctional cognitions (i.e. worry, negative perception of others’ support) may mediate between PTSD and re-offending risk. Further, this study explored the personal construct explanatory model of PTSD based on Kelly’s theory (1995) that a person who experiences a traumatic event which cannot be construed in relation with other life events, may created a fragmented trauma-related construct subsystem. Results partially confirmed the hypothesis showing a role of negative perception of other’s support in the mediation between PTSD and re-offending risk. Participants with PTSD symptoms were less able to integrate their traumatic experience and their offence into their construct system.
Keywords: Trauma, PTSD, cognitive construct, re-offending risk.