New research suggests that some veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) had risk factors for post-traumatic stress symptomatology (PTSS) that were similar to those risk factors found in veterans of Vietnam. The researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) found that certain pathways that contribute to PTSS were present in both groups of veterans and were different from unique mechanisms found in the female veterans of OEF/OIF. Recent studies have continually shown that some people are more vulnerable to psychological stress as a result of trauma. This study was designed to identify which mechanisms contributed to the development of PTSS in both male and female veterans. The researchers examined 579 veterans of OEF and OIF, and compared the results to those revealed from research on Vietnam veterans.
This most recent study, along with previous studies, showed that there are several contributing risk factors that are present prior to deployment, during deployment and after the veteran has returned home. The study also revealed that many of the risk factors begin prior to deployment and are present for both male and female veterans. The researchers discovered that female veterans’ ability to readjust was more dependent on their family relationships while deployed than their male counterparts’.
Dawne Vogt, Ph.D., researcher at the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the VA Boston Healthcare System, associate professor of psychiatry at BUSM and lead author of the study, said, “These findings provide support for the generalizability of mechanisms of risk for PTSS across Veteran groups, and suggest that there may be some key pathways through which risk factors contribute to PTSS that generalize across different Veteran populations.” She added that “concerns about relationship disruptions demonstrated a significant impact on PTSS through its effect on post-deployment stressors and post-deployment social support for women only, suggesting two additional avenues through which family concerns set the stage for PTSS in this group.”
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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