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J Sex Med. 2010 Aug;7(8):2739-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01784.x. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Posttraumatic symptoms, marital intimacy, dyadic adjustment, and sexual satisfaction among ex-prisoners of war.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Ariel, Israel. gadizy@gmail.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The aversive impact of combat and combat-induced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction has been examined in several studies. Nevertheless, the toll of war captivity on marital intimacy in relation to dyadic adjustment and sexual satisfaction remains unknown. In particular, the mediating role of marital intimacy in the relationship between PTSD symptoms and dyadic adjustment and between PTSD symptoms and sexual satisfaction has not yet been systematically explored thus far. Aims.  This study aimed to examine the interrelationships of PTSD symptoms, dyadic adjustment, sexual satisfaction, and marital intimacy among ex-prisoners of war (ex-POWs).

METHODS:

A sample of Israeli veterans ex-POWs (ex-POWs: N = 105) from the 1973 Yom Kippur War and a matched comparison group of veterans who participated in the same war but were not held captive (control: N = 94) were compared in the study variables.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The PTSD inventory, dyadic adjustment scale, index of sexual satisfaction, and capacity for intimacy questionnaire. Results.  Findings revealed that ex-POWs reported higher levels of PTSD symptoms and lower levels of dyadic adjustment and sexual satisfaction than comparable controls. There were also differences between the groups in the pattern of relations between PTSD symptoms, dyadic adjustment, sexual satisfaction, and marital intimacy. Finally, for ex-POWs, marital intimacy partially mediated the relationships between PTSD symptoms and dyadic adjustment and sexual satisfaction outcome measures.

CONCLUSIONS:

PTSD symptoms are implicated in marital problems of ex-POWs. A significant relationship was found between the traumatized ex-POW's capacity for intimacy and both their sexual satisfaction and dyadic adjustment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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