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

Kathrine Sullivan, Nicholas Barr, Sara Kintzle, Tamika Gilreath, Carl A. Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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 = 1.048; 95% CI, 1.002, 1.098) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology (OR = 1.019; 95% CI, 1.004, 1.034) independently predicted increased child difficulties. Similarly, physical health (OR = 1.081; 95% CI, 1.012, 1.154) and PTSD symptoms (OR = 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-705
Number of pages17
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Volume52
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • children
  • deployments
  • marriage
  • war and families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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