The relationship between stress and physical health has posed many questions for researchers. Most of their queries have focused on stressors such as divorce, bereavement, and job loss. However, more recent work has examined the health effects associated with extreme stressors, including war, sexual victimization, disasters, and serious accidents. This volume continues along that path and summarizes findings on trauma and PSTD in relation to three domains of outcomes: health status and disease, somatization, and utilization and cost.

Contributors examine the biology of stress and PTSD, and how trauma and PSTD could lead to poor physical health through correlates such as depression, coping, and health behaviors. They also present implications for clinical and health policy.

This volume provides a comprehensive summary of existing literature and a refreshing look at current empirical work. It will stimulate research and support clinical practice by providing clinicians with solid information that can inform their work with patients. Trauma and Health clearly shows that poor physical health should be recognized, along with poor mental health as an outcome of traumatic exposure.

Table of Contents



  1. A Context for Understanding the Physical Health Consequences of Exposure to Extreme Stress
    —Paula P. Schnurr and Bonnie L. Green

I. Physical Health Outcomes in Traumatized Populations

  1. Trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Health Status
    —Bonnie L. Green and Rachel Kimerling
  2. Costs and Health Care Utilization Associated With Traumatic Experiences
    —Edward A. Walker, Elana Newman, and Mary P. Koss

II. Psychological Mechanisms Linking Trauma and Health

  1. Depression, Trauma, and Cardiovascular Health
    —Daniel E. Ford
  2. Coping and Health: A Comparison of the Stress and Trauma Literatures
    —Carolyn M. Aldwin and Loriena A. Yancura

III. Biological Mechanisms Linking Trauma and Health

  1. Psychoneuroimmunology and Trauma
    —Angela Liegey Dougall and Andrew Baum
  2. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Allostatic Load, and Medical Illness
    —Matthew J. Friedman and Bruce S. McEwen

IV. Attentional and Behavioral Mechanisms Linking Trauma and Health

  1. Somatization and Multiple Idiopathic Physical Symptoms: Relationship to Traumatic Events and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    —Charles C. Engel, Jr.
  2. Trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Health Risk Behaviors
    —Alyssa A. Rheingold, Ron Acierno, and Heidi S. Resnick

V. An Integrative Model and Its Implications for Research, Practice, and Policy

  1. Understanding Relationships Among Trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Health Outcomes
    —Paula P. Schnurr and Bonnie L. Green

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Reviews & Awards

The many excellent ideas generated here will assist researchers who are trying to determine ways to decrease health risk behaviors so as to optimize health. Highly recommended.
—CHOICE Magazine