top of page
CultScript logo.png

Culture sensitive assessment   




Cultural Scripts of Trauma: Cultural Psychological Factors in Posttraumatic Symptom Development and Expressions

Project leader

Andreas Maercker, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


Project group

Rahel Bachem, David J. Eberle, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Celestin Mutuyimana, Collegium Helveticum, Zurich, Switzerland
Stephen Asatsa, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenia
Carmit Katz, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Nino Makhashvili, Jana Javakhishvili, Ana Papva, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Gerorgia
Jun Wen, Xinyi Yu, Wenli Qiian, Jianping Wang, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, PR China
Jorge Sanabria Leon, Ana Jurado, Andrea Molina, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica


Background & aims

Cultural factors were shown to be particularly relevant for the development and expression of posttraumatic stress. Recently, the concept of cultural scripts of trauma sequelae has been introduced, which proposes that emic elements of traumatic stress may be sequentially linked and specifically associated with cultural factors. Furthermore, a cascade model is proposed, including trauma exposure, demographic characteristics, cultural affiliation, and trauma-related value orientations as influencing factors of cultural trauma development.

Objectives: The purpose of this network project is to investigate cultural psychological factors that contribute to the expression of posttraumatic stress.

This contribution is timely and enriches the knowledge of trauma and culture. Future publications of this network project will address trauma sequelae from a cultural perspective and provide diagnostic and psychotherapeutic implications.



The present network project implements a mixed methods approach and will be conducted in 5 different study sites, including Switzerland, Israel, Georgia, China, and East Africa. In sub-study I, the cultural scripts of traumatic stress inventories (CSTI’s) will be developed. These scales provide a pool of trauma sequelae elements for each cultural group. For this purpose, focus groups with trauma survivors and trauma experts will be conducted and analysed using qualitative research methods.

Sub-study II implements a validation analysis of the CSTI’s and the empirical investigation of a cultural cascade model. This quantitative approach will include a larger sample of individuals who experienced traumatic life events.


For more information, please contact: Andreas Maercker

bottom of page