PTSD Claims–Caravan

Brannan and Katie’s teacher have conferenced about Katie’s behavior many times.”

This is arguably both a quantitative claim for stating an amount of times that they conferenced and an evaluative claim for simply stating that they conferenced “many” times, which is of course an extremely subjective word to use and open to interpretation. It could even be viewed as a comparative claim because descriptors like “many” are implicitly juxtaposed with other actions the speaker would not deem to have been done “many” times, though this is more of a stretch.

“Brannan’s not surprised she’s picked up overreacting and yelling….”

This is an evaluative claim describing Brannan’s reaction to the behaviors listed.

“…you don’t have to be at the Vines residence for too long to hear Caleb hollering from his room….”

This is a quantitative claim about exactly how long one would need to be at the Vines residence to hear or encounter Caleb yelling from his room. Similarly to the first example, the phrasing also presents an evaluative claim given the subjectivity of the words “too long”.

“…where he sometimes hides for 18, 20 hours at a time….”

This is an obvious numerical claim for mentioning the number of hours for which he will exhibit the behavior.

“…and certainly not if you’re there during his nightmares, which Katie is.”

This is a factual claim which alleges Katie’s presence during the nightmares.

“‘She mirrors…she just mirrors’ her dad’s behavior, Brannan says.”

This is simultaneously an evaluative claim by Brannan through her determining that her daughter’s behaviors mirror her husband’s and a factual claim by the author of the excerpt that Brannan said these words.

“She can’t get Katie to stop picking at the sores on her legs, sores she digs into her own skin with anxious little fingers.”

This is an evaluative claim by Brannan about her ability to get Katie to stop the behavior and a factual claim, or arguably a causal claim, about the source of the sores.

“She is not, according to Brannan, ‘a normal, carefree six-year-old.'”

This is once again an evaluative claim by Brannan about Katie and a factual claim by the author that Brannan said these words and made said evaluation.

“Different studies of the children of American World War II, Korea, and Vietnam vets with PTSD have turned up different results….”

This is a factual claim in asserting that the results of the studies differed.

“’45 percent’ of kids in one small study ‘reported significant PTSD signs’; 83′ percent reported elevated hostility scores.’ Other studies have found a ‘higher rate of psychiatric treatment’; ‘more dysfunctional social and emotional behavior’; ‘difficulties in establishing and maintaining friendships.'”

The sections in quotes are factual claims about what the studies showed, and the first two are also quantitative claims due to specifically mentioning percentages. On the other hand, the usage of “higher” and “more” in the next two make them instead comparative claims by the researchers. Altogether, they also make up a categorical claim about what findings can fit into the broader category of “PTSD symptoms discovered in children from studies on the subject.” In addition, the studies themselves are all making their own hidden evaluative claims in reporting these metrics because they have to determine what constitutes “hostility scores” or “dysfunctional social and emotional behavior” based on a methodology that will be at least somewhat subjective. This process could also be labelled as their creation of a definitional claim, deciding for the purpose of their research what these phrases actually mean in more detail to properly sort the data they collect under the correct designations.

“The symptoms were similar to what those researchers had seen before….”

This is an evaluative claim which alleges a similarity between these symptoms and those the researchers have seen previously.

“…in perhaps the most analyzed and important population in the field of secondary traumatization: the children of Holocaust survivors.”

This is a comparative claim due to asserting that the population is possibly the “most” analyzed.

“But then in 2003, a team of Dutch and Israeli researchers meta-analyzed 31 of the papers on Holocaust survivors’ families…”

This is a factual claim and perhaps one of the clearest ones thus far as it can be easily objectively proven whether or not a team of this description did in fact perform that analysis in 2003. It is also a quantitative claim due to alleging the number of papers specifically.

“…and concluded—to the fury of some clinicians….”

This is an evaluative claim by describing the response to the conclusion to come as an angry one.

“…that when more rigorous controls were applied, there was no evidence for the intergenerational transmission of trauma.”

Contained here is both a definitional claim the researchers had to make internally for what “intergenerational transmission of trauma” meant and an evaluative numerical claim the researchers had to make about the nature of the evidence and how much of it demonstrated something which fell under that definition. It also is a causal claim due to stating that this was found specifically “when more rigorous controls were applied”, the wording of which implies a direct relationship between that action and the results they found.

“I asked the lead scientist, Marinus van IJzendoorn of Leiden University, what might account for other studies’ finding of secondary trauma in vets’ spouses or kids.”

There are two factual claims here. One is the author’s claim that they asked the lead scientist and the other is the claim that the lead scientist is the person mentioned by name.

“He said he’s never analyzed those studies, and wonders if the results would hold up to a meta-analysis. But: “Suppose that there is a second-generation effect in veterans, there are a few differences that are quite significant” from children of Holocaust survivors that “might account for difference in coping mechanisms and resources.” Holocaust survivors “had more resources and networks, wider family members and community to support them to adapt to their new circumstances after a war.” They were not, in other words, expected to man up and get over it.”

This section as a whole is a factual claim by the author about what the lead scientist said.

“‘Suppose that there is a second-generation effect in veterans, there are a few differences that are quite significant’ from children of Holocaust survivors that ‘might account for difference in coping mechanisms and resources.‘”

Firstly, the lead scientist makes both a factual claim that differences exist and an evaluative claim about their significance. Then, another evaluative claim is made by suggesting that these differences would account for a disparity in “coping mechanisms and resources.”

Holocaust survivors ‘had more resources and networks, wider family members and community to support them to adapt to their new circumstances after a war.‘”

This excerpt holds two comparative claims by stating that they had “more” resources and networks and “wider” family members and community support as in this context “wider” is being used as a substitute for “more”.

“‘They were not, in other words, expected to man up and get over it.‘”

This is both an obvious evaluative claim about the response that the Holocaust survivors received from people and the expectations of them as well as a subtler evaluative claim through the implication that this was true of the response to veterans.

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1 Response to PTSD Claims–Caravan

  1. davidbdale says:

    “Brannan and Katie’s teacher have conferenced about Katie’s behavior many times.”

    This is arguably both a quantitative claim for stating an amount of times that they conferenced and an evaluative claim for simply stating that they conferenced “many” times, which is of course an extremely subjective word to use and open to interpretation. It could even be viewed as a comparative claim because descriptors like “many” are implicitly juxtaposed with other actions the speaker would not deem to have been done “many” times, though this is more of a stretch.

    —Excellent. Would you also call it Evaluative on the basis of what it implies about Katie’s behavior that her teacher felt it necessary more than once to bring in Brannan to coerce her into controlling her daughter’s behavior?

    “…you don’t have to be at the Vines residence for too long to hear Caleb hollering from his room….”

    This is a quantitative claim about exactly how long one would need to be at the Vines residence to hear or encounter Caleb yelling from his room. Similarly to the first example, the phrasing also presents an evaluative claim given the subjectivity of the words “too long”.

    —Very nice. Would you also call it Evaluative in that it implicitly claims that Caleb’s symptoms are so prevalent that even a brief casual visitor would be aware of them?

    “…where he sometimes hides for 18, 20 hours at a time….”

    This is an obvious numerical claim for mentioning the number of hours for which he will exhibit the behavior.

    —Agreed, but it also Categorizes his behavior as “hiding,” which a different observer might have described as “retreated to his bedroom exhausted.”

    Feel free to revise for Grade Improvement, but be sure to let me know you’ve made revisions; otherwise, I probably will not notice.

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