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Mil Med. 1994 Apr;159(4):322-6.

Relation of military service variables to posttraumatic stress disorder in New Zealand Vietnam War veterans.

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Department of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


In a community sample of 573 New Zealand Vietnam War veterans, 20% were identified as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases. The association between PTSD diagnoses and a range of military experience variables and current demographic variables was examined. Significant differences were reported between cases and non-cases in terms of combat exposure, combat duties, length of service in Vietnam, length of service after Vietnam, total military service, and rank. PTSD cases also differed significantly from non-cases in terms of their age, marital status, income, educational qualifications, and employment status. These results confirm findings from previous studies showing that military experience in Vietnam is significantly associated with current levels of PTSD. They also suggest that veterans with PTSD have poorer social adjustment as indexed by factors such as their current marital and employment status.

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