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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

PTSD and Physical Health Symptoms Among Veterans: Association with Child and Relationship Functioning

February, 2016
Article:

This article explores the link between veterans’ physical and mental health symptoms and perceptions of family functioning.

Abstract

This study examines the association between veterans’ physical and mental health symptoms and perceptions of adverse child and relationship functioning. Veteran responses to the PHQ-15, assessing physical health; the PCL-C, assessing PTSD symptoms; and reports of family challenges were drawn from a countywide veterans survey. Findings indicate physical health (OR ¼ 1.048; 95% CI, 1.002, 1.098) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology (OR ¼ 1.019; 95% CI, 1.004, 1.034) independently predicted increased child difficulties. Similarly, physical health (OR ¼ 1.081; 95% CI, 1.012, 1.154) and PTSD symptoms (OR ¼ 1.043; 95% CI, 1.022, 1.065) independently impacted relationship difficulties. Using standardized coefficients to compare, PTSD symptoms were a stronger predictor across both models. Results highlight the dual importance of assessing both veterans’ physical and mental health symptoms to understand family functioning. Additionally, these findings underscore the importance of longitudinal research, which can follow families beyond separation from the military.

Full Reference

Sullivan, K., Barr, N., Kintzle, S., Gilreath, T. and Castro, C. A., 2016. PTSD and Physical Health Symptoms Among Veterans: Association with Child and Relationship Functioning. Marriage & Family Review, 52(7).

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