Psychological Models of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder

Lori A. Zoellner, Afsoon Eftekhari and Michele Bedard-Gilligan

in Oxford Handbook of Anxiety and Related Disorders

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Psychological Models of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder

Show Summary Details


This chapter first reviews early learning theories of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This section highlights the role of classical and operant conditioning, as these forms of conditioning are the basis for many of the contemporary theories of PTSD and still shape a preponderance of thought on the nature of the disorder. Yet, as is pointed out, these conditioning models fail to account for some of the complexities seen in PTSD. The next section reviews alternative conceptualizations regarding new learning theory models, information-processing models, and emotional processing models, forming the basis for more contemporary thought. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of challenges in the conceptualization of trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms.

Keywords: acute stress disorder; classical conditioning; emotion; memory; posttraumatic stress disorder; psychological models; theory; trauma exposure

Article.  8805 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.