Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Health Risk Behaviors Among Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans Attending College

ArticleinAmerican journal of health behavior 35(4):387-92 · July 2011with18 Reads
DOI: 10.5993/AJHB.35.4.1 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
To determine if post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with health risk behaviors among Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans attending college. Using 2008 Boynton College Student Health Survey data, we tested associations between self-reported PTSD diagnosis and self-reported risk behaviors (n=406). We found PTSD diagnosis to be significantly associated with reporting involvement in a physical fight in the past year (ARR = 3.1; 95% CI: 2.2, 4.4) and marginally associated with highrisk drinking (ARR = 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1, 1.6). However, no association was seen between PTSD and the tobacco use and other safety behaviors that we examined. PTSD is likely a factor that contributes to the relationship between military service and certain health risk behaviors.
    • "Exposure to combat has been associated with increased rates of aggression upon homecoming (Thomas, Wilk, Riviere, McGurk, Castro, & Hoge, 2010 ). Longitudinal research of OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD found that 9% admitted to aggression toward a stranger in the previous year (Sullivan & Elbogen, 2014), and veteran students with PTSD have been found to have an elevated risk for fighting (Widome, Kehle, et al., 2011). Veterans with PTSD and negative affect (anger/irritability) may be at increased risk for criminal arrests (Elbogen et al., 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As the major ground troop presence in the Middle East is reduced, it is time to reflect, maximize lessons learned, and look forward to what lies ahead for the nearly 2.6 million service members of the United States military who have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. A systematic review of the literature on postdeployment functioning of Iraq and Afghanistan troops was conducted. Findings are described and contextualized in terms of service members’ ongoing strengths, needs, and challenges. The corpus of research on deployed personnel indicates that service members demonstrate resilience in the face of war-related stressors. However, postdeployment impairment in 6 functional domains emerged in the literature review, including mental health, social and role functioning, relationship functioning and family life, spirituality, physical health, and financial well-being. Although risk factors and future trajectories vary across these domains, psychiatric difficulties are a consistent predictor of a worsened course. Implications for clinical practice are described based on the review findings. To promote wellbeing in the years ahead, it is important that service members are supported in their various roles (such as in the classroom, the workforce, and the family). In addition, routine assessment of functioning across domains is highly recommended for postdeployment service members.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
    • "Only college students from the state of Minnesota were studied, and the online survey format could lead to problems such as sampling issues, misrepresentation of identity, and the relative inability to generalize findings (McCullagh, n.d.). In spite of this, the results of the survey closely parallel results from other surveys about Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom veterans, especially in reports of aggression (Widome et al., 2011). However, the study's conclusions leaned on several previously reported statistics about college students in order to justify results dissimilar to those collected from non-veteran college students. "
    [Show description] [Hide description] DESCRIPTION: Written for Advances in Health Promotion (HHE 515) at the University of Alabama, 12/2013.
    Research · Jun 2015 · Professional Psychology Research and Practice
    • "Only college students from the state of Minnesota were studied, and the online survey format could lead to problems such as sampling issues, misrepresentation of identity, and the relative inability to generalize findings (McCullagh, n.d.). In spite of this, the results of the survey closely parallel results from other surveys about Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom veterans, especially in reports of aggression (Widome et al., 2011). However, the study's conclusions leaned on several previously reported statistics about college students in order to justify results dissimilar to those collected from non-veteran college students. "
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Professional Psychology Research and Practice
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