Problems in Families of Male Vietnam Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


This article explores the family situations of male Vietnam veterans who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It specifically explores how the spouse or partner of the veteran is affected by the symptoms of the veteran’s PTSD.


Interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,200 male Vietnam veterans and the spouses or co-resident partners of 376 of these veterans. The veteran interview contained questions to determine the presence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and items tapping family and marital adjustment, parenting problems, and violence. The spouse or partner (S/P) interview assessed the S/P's view of these items, as well as her view of her own mental health, drug, and alcohol problems and behavioral problems of school-aged children living at home. Compared with families of male veterans without current PTSD, families of male veterans with current PTSD showed markedly elevated levels of severe and diffuse problems in marital and family adjustment, in parenting skills, and in violent behavior. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Full Reference

Jordan, B. K., Marmar, C. R., Fairbank, J. A., Schlenger, W. E., Kulka, R. A., Hough, R. L. and Weiss, D. S., 1992. Problems in families of male Vietnam veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60(6), pp. 916-926.