Socio-demographic variables and personality characteristics that existed before the traumatic event and as the models of PTS proposed, they have an important influence on reactions of individuals to trauma.

In the literature, socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender, income, and social support have been found to be related to the occurrence of PTS.

Age seems to be an important factor related to PTS. However, there are conflicting findings about the relationship between age and the occurrence of PTSD. According to DSM-5 (2013), younger age at the time of trauma exposure is a risk factor for developing PTSD. On the other hand, old age was found to be positively related to the development of PTSD (Davidson, Hughes, Blazer, & George, 1991; Norris, 1992; Perkonigg, Kessler, Storz, & Wittchen, 2000).

Several research studies revealed that being female is a risk factor for the development of posttraumatic stress (Tolin & Foa, 2006; Ehlers, Mayou, & Bryant, 1998). Accordingly, Karanci et al. (2012) reported that being female was positively related to the severity of stress in the aftermath of traumatic events. The results of motor vehicle accident research are consistent with these findings (Ursano, Fullerton, Epstein, Crowley, Kao, Vance, Craig, Dougall, & Baum, 1999; Fullerton, Ursano, Epstein, Crowley, Vance, Kao, Dougall, & Baum, 2001; Lucas, 2003; Iteke, Bakare, Agomoh, Uwakwe, & Onwukwe, 2011). Consistently, DSM-5 (2013) also suggested that female gender was a factor that increases the risk of developing PTSD in the aftermath of trauma.

According to research findings, social support is a protective factor for PTSD; in other words, as social support increases the occurrence of PTSD decreases (Hobfoll, Hall, Canetti-Nisim, Galea, Johnson, & Palmieri, 2007; Hobfoll, Canetti-Nisim, Johnson, Palmieri, Varley, & Galea, 2008; DSM-5, 2013). Moreover, the results of the study that systematically reviewed 49 papers on road traffic crashes showed that the lack of social support for the accident victims significantly predicted PTSD (Heron-Delaney, Kenardy, Charlton, & Matsuoka, 2013).

In the literature there are some studies reporting a relationship between income level of the trauma survivors and the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms in the aftermath of the traumatic experience. Karanci et al. (2012) reported that income level was negatively related with the severity of PTSD symptoms and all three subscales of PTSD, measured by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (Horowitz, Wilner, & Alvarez, 1979), namely re-experiencing, avoidance, and hypervigilance. Similarly, low-income level was found to be associated with PTSD (Perkonigg et al., 2000; Norris, Murphy, Backer, Perilla, Rodriguez, & Rodriguez, 2003). On the other hand, the study conducted with motor vehicle accident victims showed that income level was not significantly associated with PTSD (Ursano et al., 1999).

Several studies investigating the relationship between the basic personality characteristics and posttraumatic stress revealed significant findings. Karanci et al. (2012), in their study conducted with the survivors of different types of trauma found that neuroticism, agreeableness, and extraversion were significantly associated with PTS. Neuroticism and agreeableness were found to be positive associates of PTS, whereas extraversion was negatively related to PTS. Consistently, Jaksic, Brajkovic, Ivezic, Topic, and Jakovljevic (2012), in their review article, indicated that neuroticism was related to PTSD in different samples experiencing a traumatic event. In addition, higher neuroticism and lower levels of agreeableness and conscientiousness were found to be positively related to stress following traumatic events (Caska & Renshaw, 2013). The results of the study performed with motor vehicle accident victims showed that neuroticism was positively correlated with the occurrence of acute stress disorder and the level of acute stress severity (Harvey & Bryant, 1999). Additionally, Dörfel, Rabe, and Karl (2008) in their research with 44 survivors of severe motor vehicle accidents showed that both extraversion and neuroticism significantly predicted PTS severity. In other words, PTS severity was found to be negatively correlated with extraversion and positively correlated with neuroticism.

According to the results in the literature, neuroticism and lower levels of extraversion are positively correlated with PTS. On the other hand, there arecontradictory findings about the relationship between agreeableness and PTS.