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Two perspectives on accommodation of PTSD symptoms: Partners versus service members

APA Citation:

Kenny, J. J., Allen, E., Renshaw, K., Bhalla, A., & Fredman, S. J. (2021). Two perspectives on accommodation of PTSD symptoms: Partner versus service members. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi. org/10.1037/cfp0000184

Abstract Created by REACH:

Accommodation involves adapting behaviors in response to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Data from 259 Army couples (i.e., men Service members, women civilian partners) were used to examine civilian partners’ accommodation experiences (i.e., how often they used accommodation and how distressing the behavior is) in connection to Service members’ PTSD symptoms, as well as both partners’ psychological distress (i.e., depressive symptoms and hostility) and relationship satisfaction. Service members and their civilian partners reported related but distinct experiences of accommodation frequency and distress, as well as of relationship satisfaction.

Focus:

Mental health
Couples

Branch of Service:

Army

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Spouse of service member or veteran

Population:

Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)

Authors:

Kenny, Jessica J., Allen, Elizabeth, Renshaw, Keith, Bhalla, Arjun, Fredman, Steffany J.

Abstract:

When military service members (SMs) experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), intimate partners may respond by accommodating these symptoms. Although prior research has found that this type of accommodation, as self-reported by the partner, is associated with individual and relationship distress for both members of the intimate dyad, little is known about how SMs directly perceive the frequency of partner accommodation and the distress they experience regarding this accommodation relative to the reports from the accommodating partner. The present study examined SMs’ perceptions of partner accommodation of SM PTSD symptoms and partner self-report of accommodation of SM PTSD symptoms in a nontreatment-seeking sample of 259 Army couples consisting of a male SM and a female civilian partner. Both partner and SM reports of partner accommodation were significantly and positively related to SM PTSD symptom severity and both SM and partner depressive symptoms and hostility and were significantly and negatively related to both SM and partner marital satisfaction. When considering the average frequency of partner accommodation of SM PTSD symptoms, SM reports and partner reports evidenced general agreement. In contrast, partners reported being more distressed, on average, about their accommodation than SMs were about the partners’ accommodation. Clinical implications of the findings and the utility of cross-informant perceptions of partner accommodation in clinical and research settings are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

American Psychological Association

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Department of Psychology, University of Colorado Denver, JJK
Department of Psychology, George Mason University, EA
Department of Psychology, George Mason University, KR
Department of Psychology, University of Colorado Denver, AB
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University, SJF

Keywords:

accommodation (disabilities), distress, intimacy, military personnel, partners, posttraumatic stress disorder, self-report, symptoms, trauma

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

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