Title

It All Adds Up: Addressing the Roles of Cumulative Traumatic Experiences on Military Veterans

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-21-2019

Publication Title

Child Abuse and Neglect

Volume

98

First page number:

1

Last page number:

9

Abstract

Background: Posttraumatic stress symptoms are common after discharge from military service in male and female Post-9/11 veterans, many of whom experienced combat. Objective: This is a study of the impacts of childhood and adult assaults are studied both separately and together on the level of posttraumatic stress symptoms in male and female Post-9/11 veterans (N = 850) after discharge from military service. Participants and setting: This cross-sectional secondary analysis uses data from the baseline interviews of the Survey of Experiences of Returning Veterans (SERV) cohort study. Methods: Childhood sexual and physical abuse, adult sexual and physical assault, and combat exposure were the main exposures of interest and the primary outcome measurement was the Posttraumatic Symptom Checklist-Civilian, assessing symptom severity post discharge from military service. Results: Our sample reported high rates of childhood abuse, adult victimization, combat exposure, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Tested separately, models including different types of victimization had both unique (f2 = 0.30) and cumulative (f2 = 0.32) effects on severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms in male and female veterans. Conclusions: Our results underscore the importance of assessing childhood and adult trauma history in returning veterans in addition to traumas they experienced during their service. These findings highlight the importance of focusing on building resilience in our military servicemembers.

Keywords

Veteran; Child abuse; Assault; Combat exposure; Posttraumatic stress

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry and Psychology

Language

English

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