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J Subst Abuse. 1996;8(3):335-46.

Characteristics of posttraumatic stress disorder-alcohol abuse comorbidity in women.

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Boston VA Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine, USA.


Trauma characteristics and symptoms were examined in 12 women diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse (AA), 13 women with PTSD only, and 22 controls. Participants served during the Vietnam era. Women completed diagnostic interviews and a questionnaire battery. Results showed that PTSD-AA women reported more childhood sexual abuse and sexual victimization during wartime service than the other two groups. Groups did not differ on other childhood trauma variables, nor on adult physical assault and traditional wartime stressor exposure. PTSD-AA women reported more PTSD, dissociation, and borderline personality traits than the other two groups. These results suggest that trauma type, specifically sexual victimization across the life span, is an important factor in dual diagnosis in women, and that women with PTSD-AA have a particularly severe level of symptoms relative to women with only PTSD and controls.

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