Five ‐Year Impacts of Family Stressors and Combat Threat on the Mental Health of Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans

AbstractIt has been well established that warfare ‐related stress puts service members at risk for a range of mental health problems after they return from deployment. Less is known about service members’ experience of family stressors during deployment. The aims of this study were to (a) evaluate whether family stressors would contribute uniqu e variance to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms above and beyond combat threat during deployment and (b) examine whether family stressors would amplify the negative effects of combat threat on postmilitary mental health 5 years postdischarge. Study participants reported th eir experience of objective and subjective family stressors and combat threat during deployment. Objective family stressors demonstrated unique associations with PTSD and depression symptoms and remained significant after accounting for ongoing family stressors reported at follow‐up. A significant interaction was found between objective family stressors and combat threat on PTSD symptoms,r = −.10. Although the association between combat threat and PTSD was significant for participants who reported high,B = 0.04; and low,B = 0.09, exposure to family stressors, the steeper slope for those exposed to fewer family stressors indicates a stronger effect of combat threat. Follow ‐up analyses revealed that veterans who experienced high amounts of family stress and high levels of combat threat reported significantly worse PTSD symp...
Source: Journal of Traumatic Stress - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: RESEARCH ARTICLE Source Type: research

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