Military Veterans’ Psychological Distress Associated with Problematic Pornography Viewing

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International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction

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Problematic pornography use represents a common feature reported by those with compulsive sexual behavior disorder. While prior research suggests US military veterans may experience disproportional rates of problematic pornography use, few comparative studies exist. Moreover, no measurement invariance analyses between veterans and non-veterans exist on measures designed to assess problematic pornography use. The purposes of the present report were to explore whether differences exist between veteran and non-veteran men on indices of problematic pornography use, determine whether veteran status is associated with an exacerbation of psychological distress in conjunction with problematic pornography use, and establish measurement invariance psychometric data between veteran and non-veteran men on the Brief Pornography Screen (Kraus et al., 2020). We analyzed data drawn from a nationally representative panel of men from the USA (N = 658 non-veterans, N = 186 veterans). When adjusting for age, veteran men experienced significantly more problematic pornography use compared to non-veteran men. A substantial moderation effect was also evident, with veterans experiencing significantly more psychological distress associated with their problematic pornography use (β = .65) compared to non-veterans (β = .29), while adjusting for age and pornography use frequency. The Brief Pornography Screen demonstrated residual invariance (i.e., measurement equivalence of factor structure, loadings, intercepts, and errors) between veteran and non-veteran men. Clinicians working with veterans should explore how pornography use is related to their mental health. The Brief Pornography Screen is an effective tool to assess problematic pornography viewing in veteran and non-veteran men.


Compulsive sexual behavior disorder; Men; Military veterans; Problematic pornography use; Psychological distress


Film and Media Studies | Psychiatric and Mental Health



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