Military Beliefs and PTSD in Active-duty U.S. Army Soldiers.

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College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology


Post-traumatic distress after military combat is a major cost of war. One under-investigated factor potentially associated with PTSD symptoms is specific beliefs about one's military service. This study examined post-deployment self-reports from 272 active-duty U.S. Army soldiers, to investigate potential associations between military-related PTSD symptom severity and three beliefs about the military: the importance and value ascribed to one's own work in the Army, to current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to military service in general. Higher scores on these three beliefs were negatively correlated with military-related PTSD symptom severity. However, in a combined regression model that controlled for recent combat exposure, only the belief about current military operations had a significant, unique association with PTSD symptom severity. That is, more positive beliefs about the value of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan were associated with lower PTSD symptoms.

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