Unethical battlefield conduct reported by soldiers serving in the iraq war.

*Division of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Silver Spring, MD
The Journal of nervous and mental disease (Impact Factor: 1.81). 04/2013; 201(4):259-65. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318288d302
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research involving military service members has shown a strong relationship between combat experiences and increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems. Comparatively little research has examined the relationship between combat experiences, PTSD, aggression, and unethical conduct on the battlefield, although news stories sometimes suggest links between unethical conduct and disorders such as PTSD. This study systematically examined whether unethical conduct is a proxy for aggression and whether specific combat experiences and PTSD are independently associated with unethical behavior. The results of this study indicate that aggression (β = 0.30) and specific combat experiences (particularly, witnessing war atrocities [β = 0.14] and fighting [β = 0.13]) are much more strongly associated with unethical conduct than is PTSD (β = 0.04).

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There have been numerous studies of post-traumatic stress disorder in trauma victims, war veterans, and residents of communities exposed to disaster. Epidemiologic studies of this syndrome in the general population are rare but add an important perspective to our understanding of it. We report findings on the epidemiology of post-traumatic stress disorder in 2493 participants examined as part of a nationwide general-population survey of psychiatric disorders. The prevalence of a history of post-traumatic stress disorder was 1 percent in the total population, about 3.5 percent in civilians exposed to physical attack and in Vietnam veterans who were not wounded, and 20 percent in veterans wounded in Vietnam. Post-traumatic stress disorder was associated with a variety of other adult psychiatric disorders. Behavioral problems before the age of 15 predicted adult exposure to physical attack and (among Vietnam veterans) to combat, as well as the development of post-traumatic stress disorder among those so exposed. Although some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as hyperalertness and sleep disturbances, occurred commonly in the general population, the full syndrome as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, was common only among veterans wounded in Vietnam.
    New England Journal of Medicine 01/1988; 317(26):1630-4. · 54.42 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Health and Social Behavior 04/1984; 25(1):65-85. · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The impact of childhood victimization and other premilitary factors on warzone abusive violence was examined with 177 Vietnam combat veteran inpatients. Premilitary and military variables were also examined in relationship to postmilitary variables, including violence and PTSD. Statistical analyses showed that none of the premilitary variables predicted warzone violence. High combat exposure did, however, predict warzone abusive violence and PTSD. In addition, participation in warzone violence predicted postmilitary violence to self, spouse, and others. Although high rates of childhood victimization and high levels of combat exposure were found, neither predicted postmilitary violence, criminal activities, drug/alcohol problems, or suicide attempts. Low childhood adjustment ratings and school suspensions predicted adult alcohol abuse and drug abuse, respectively. These findings and their implication for treatment are discussed.
    Journal of Traumatic Stress 02/1995; 8(1):125-41. · 2.72 Impact Factor