This article examines the influence of military service, particularly combat exposure, on the aging process amongst US Veterans.
Objective: To assess the discriminant validity of late-onset stress symptomatology (LOSS) in terms of its distinction from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Method: The LOSS Scale, PTSD Checklist – Civilian Version, and related psychological measures were administered to 562 older male combat veterans via a mailed questionnaire. Analyses focused on: (a) comparing associations of LOSS and PTSD with other psychological variables and (b) examining a hypothesized curvilinear relationship between LOSS and PTSD scores. Results: Compared to PTSD, LOSS was more strongly associated with concerns about retirement and less strongly associated with depression, anxiety, sense of mastery, and satisfaction with life. LOSS also demonstrated a curvilinear relationship with PTSD, such that the positive association between LOSS and PTSD diminished at higher levels of PTSD. Conclusion: LOSS is conceptually and statistically more strongly associated with a normative late-life stressor than is PTSD, but is less strongly related to mental health symptoms and emotional well-being. Additionally, LOSS seems more related to subthreshold PTSD than it is to clinically significant PTSD. The present findings support the discriminant validity of LOSS.
Potter, C.M.; Pless Kaiser, A., King, L.A., King, D.W,., Davison, E.H., Seligowaski, A.V, Brady, C.B.,Spiro, A. 2013. Distinguishing late-onset stress symptomatology from posttraumatic stress disorder in older combat veterans. Aging & Mental Health, 17:2, 173-179.