A national study of the psychological impact of bank robbery with a randomized control group

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Despite, numerous annual bank robberies worldwide, research on the psychological sequelae of bank robberies is limited. We studied the prevalence of Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) (N = 458) and the prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (n = 378) in a Danish national questionnaire survey of bank employees exposed to robbery (response rate: 73.6 %). Several related factors were also investigated including prior traumatic exposure, anxiety, and general traumatic symptoms. The results were compared to a randomized control group of bank employees never exposed to robbery (N= 303). The estimated ASD rate was 11.1 % (n = 41), and the estimated PTSD rate was 6.2 % (n = 23). Both prevalence rates were limited by the avoidance diagnostic criteria. Preliminary results indicated that the control group scored significantly lower than the acute robbery group on general traumatization and anxiety but surprisingly significantly higher than the follow-up robbery group. The results are discussed in relation to existing research and the effect of other factors such as prior traumatic exposure. In conclusion bank robberies are a traumatizing event for the employees, especially when disregarding avoidance symptoms. This seems to be particularly pertinent in relation to the acute phrase following the bank robbery.

Translated title of the contributionEt nationalt studie af de psykologiske følgevirkninger af bankrøveri med en randomiseret kontrolgruppe
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventISTSS: Annual Conference - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 6. Nov 20138. Nov 2013
Conference number: 30


CountryUnited States

Cite this

Hansen, M., Armour, C., Shevlin, M., & Elklit, A. (2013). A national study of the psychological impact of bank robbery with a randomized control group. Poster session presented at ISTSS, Philadelphia, United States.