Criminal Justice Involvement, Trauma, and Negative Affect in Iraq and Afghanistan War Era Veterans.
ABSTRACT Objective: Although criminal behavior in veterans has been cited as a growing problem, little is known about why some veterans are at increased risk for arrest. Theories of criminal behavior postulate that people who have been exposed to stressful environments or traumatic events and who report negative affect such as anger and irritability are at increased risk of antisocial conduct. Method: We hypothesized veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) who report anger/irritability would show higher rates of criminal arrests. To test this, we examined data in a national survey of N = 1,388 Iraq and Afghanistan war era veterans. Results: We found that 9% of respondents reported arrests since returning home from military service. Most arrests were associated with nonviolent criminal behavior resulting in incarceration for less than 2 weeks. Unadjusted bivariate analyses revealed that veterans with probable PTSD or TBI who reported anger/irritability were more likely to be arrested than were other veterans. In multivariate analyses, arrests were found to be significantly related to younger age, male gender, having witnessed family violence, prior history of arrest, alcohol/drug misuse, and PTSD with high anger/irritability but were not significantly related to combat exposure or TBI. Conclusions: Findings show that a subset of veterans with PTSD and negative affect may be at increased risk of criminal arrest. Because arrests were more strongly linked to substance abuse and criminal history, clinicians should also consider non-PTSD factors when evaluating and treating veterans with criminal justice involvement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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ABSTRACT: Alcohol use (frequency and quantity) and the hyperarousal feature of PTSD were examined in relation to male-perpetrated marital abuse and violence using data from 376 couples who participated in the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. Veteran's self-reported hyperarousal was significantly associated with partner's report of physical violence and psychological abuse toward her. Differential relationships were found between veteran's self reported drinking frequency and drinking quantity and the outcomes; of the two components, only the average quantity consumed per occasion was independently related to husband-to-wife violence. Moreover, a complex interaction emerged between hyperarousal and the two dimensions of alcohol consumption in predicting violence, with the relationship between hyperarousal and violence varying as a function of both drinking frequency and drinking quantity.Journal of Traumatic Stress 11/2001; 14(4):717-32. · 2.72 Impact Factor
Article: The drug abuse screening test.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) was designed to provide a brief instrument for clinical screening and treatment evaluation research. The 28 self-report items tap various consequences that are combined in a total DAST score to yield a quantitative index of problems related to drug misuse. Measurement properties of the DAST were evaluated using a clinical sample of 256 drug/alcohol abuse clients. The internal consistency reliability estimate was substantial at .92, and a factor analysis of item intercorrelations suggested an unidimensional scale. With respect to response style biases, the DAST was only moderately correlated with social desirability and denial. Concurrent validity was examined by correlating the DAST with background variables, frequency of drug use during the past 12 months, and indices of psychopathology. Although these findings support the usefulness of the DAST for quantifying the extent of drug involvement within a help-seeking population, further validation work is needed in other populations and settings.Addictive Behaviors 02/1982; 7(4):363-71. · 2.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined the association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology and aggressive behavior among a sample of male Vietnam veterans (N = 1,328). Results indicated that the hyperarousal PTSD symptom cluster evidenced the strongest positive association with aggression at the bivariate level when compared with the other PTSD symptom clusters. When the PTSD symptom clusters were examined together as predictors, hyperarousal symptoms evidenced a significant positive relationship with aggression, and avoidance/numbing symptoms were negatively associated with aggression. Examination of potential mediators indicated that hyperarousal symptoms were directly associated with aggression and indirectly related to aggression via alcohol problems. Reexperiencing symptoms were associated with aggression only indirectly and through their positive association with physiological reactivity and negative association with alcohol problems. Study results highlight the complexity of the relationship between PTSD symptoms and aggression, and suggest possible mechanisms explaining this association.Journal of Abnormal Psychology 09/2007; 116(3):498-507. · 4.86 Impact Factor