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J Abnorm Psychol. 1999 Feb;108(1):164-70.

Posttraumatic stress disorder in a national sample of female and male Vietnam veterans: risk factors, war-zone stressors, and resilience-recovery variables.

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  • 1National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02130, USA.


Relationships among pretrauma risk factors (e.g., family instability, childhood antisocial behavior), war-zone stressors (e.g., combat, perceived threat), posttrauma resilience-recovery variables (e.g., hardiness, social support), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity were examined. Data from a national sample of 432 female and 1,200 male veterans were analyzed using structural equation modeling. For both genders, direct links to PTSD from pretrauma, war-zone, and posttrauma variable categories were found; several direct associations between pretrauma and posttrauma variables were documented. Although war-zone stressors appeared preeminent for PTSD in men, posttrauma resilience-recovery variables were more salient for women. Researchers, policymakers, and clinicians are urged to take a broad view on trauma and its sequelae, especially regarding possible multiple exposures over time and the depletion and availability of important resources.

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