Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Lori J. Lange

Second Advisor

Dr. Dawn Witherspoon

Rights Statement

Department Chair

Dr. Lori J. Lange

College Dean

George Rainbolt


Self -report measures used in PTSD research have the potential to limit the degree of symptom severity in military veterans, especially as there is often underreporting in this population (Kline, Falca-Dodson, Susner et al., 2010). Polyvagal Theory provides a framework assessing if physiological measures can tap into PTSD Symptomology (Porges, 1995). It is therefore hypothesized that lower scores on auditory processing tests will be positively correlated with higher scores on Stress and PTSD measures. Additionally, it is thought that lower scores on auditory processing tedts as well as higher scores on PTSD and Stress Measures will be positively correlated with decreased Heart Rate Variability. After answering a series of survey questions, participants completed a hearing test as well as Auditory Processing tests while having their heart rate monitored; from that, heart rate variability was computed and several Hierarchical Linear Regressions were performed, controlling for Age, Sex, Branch of Service, and Active Duty Status. No statistically significant relationships were found between PTSD, heart rate variability, and auditory processing measures. Data collection was stopped early due to COVID-19, which limited statistical power for analyses. The goal of this research is to determine a way to increase the accuracy of PTSD diagnosis.