Centre for Social Science and Global Health

The 'Thinking a Lot' Idiom of Distress and PTSD

An Examination of Their Relationship among Traumatized Cambodian Refugees Using the 'Thinking a Lot' Questionnaire

This article by Devon Hinton, Ria Reis and Joop de Jong proposes a general model of how Thinking a Lot (TAL) generates various types of distress that then cause PTSD-type psychopathology, a model we refer to as the TAL–PTSD model.

“Thinking a lot” (TAL)—also referred to as “thinking too much”—is a key complaint in many cultural contexts, and the current article profiles this idiom of distress among Cambodian refugees. The article also proposes a general model of how TAL generates various types of distress that then cause PTSD-type psychopathology, a model we refer to as the TAL–PTSD model. As tested in this Cambodian refugee sample, the model is supported by the following: (1) the close connection of TAL to PTSD as shown by odds ratio (OR = 19.6), correlation (r = .86), and factor loading; and (2) the mediation of most of the effect of TAL on PTSD by TAL-caused somatic symptoms, catastrophic cognitions, trauma recall, insomnia, and irritability. The questionnaire used in the present study is provided and can be used to examine TAL in other cultural and global contexts to advance the study of this commonly encountered distress form.

Publication Details

Hinton, Devon E., Ria Reis, and Joop de Jong: The 'Thinking a Lot' Idiom of Distress and PTSD: An Examination of Their Relationship among Traumatized Cambodian Refugees Using the 'Thinking a Lot' Questionnaire, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 29:3, 357-380.

Published by  SSGH

8 February 2017