HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Gender Differences in Trauma Types and Themes in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Article

This study aimed to determine whether there were gender differences in trauma types and cognitive-emotional themes among veterans with deployment-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Results: Most women developed PTSD after sexual assault, with reactions emphasizing mistrust, betrayal, and anger. Men experienced more combat, with reactions including survivor guilt, moral injury, and horror. Conclusions: Both genders developed PTSD, but the causes of and reactions to their traumas differed.

Abstract

This study aimed to determine whether there were gender differences in trauma types and cognitive-emotional themes among veterans with deployment-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods: Case notes or writing excerpts from two pilot studies were reviewed to determine types of traumas and emerging themes, with 20 women and 31 men comprising the sample. Results: Most women developed PTSD after sexual assault, with reactions emphasizing mistrust, betrayal, and anger. Men experienced more combat, with reactions including survivor guilt, moral injury, and horror. Conclusions: Both genders developed PTSD, but the causes of and reactions to their traumas differed. Emerging themes can be useful treatment foci.

Full Reference

Krupnick, J.L., 2017. Gender Differences in Trauma Types and Themes in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 22(6), pp.514-525.