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Emotional intimacy mediates the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and intimate partner violence perpetration in OEF/OIF/OND veterans

APA Citation:

Kar, H. L., & O'Leary, K. D. (2013). Emotional intimacy mediates the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and intimate partner violence perpetration in OEF/OIF/OND veterans. Violence, 28(5), 790-803. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.vv-d-12-00080

Abstract Created by REACH:

One hundred and ten partnered Veterans were recruited via letters to participate in a study examining if emotional intimacy and marital satisfaction mediated links with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or intimate partner violence (IPV). Results indicated that emotional intimacy with partners correlated negatively with PTSD and physical aggression in Veterans. In addition, low levels of marital satisfaction and prior history of intimate physical aggression were more likely to have intimate partner violence in their current relationship.


Mental health
Physical health

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Subject Affiliation:



Adulthood (18 yrs & older)


Quantitative Study


Kar, Heidi L., O’Leary, K. Daniel


Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at elevated risk for perpetrating intimate partner violence (IPV). Little research exists on the link between PTSD and physical IPV in Operational Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) veterans. A sample of 110 male participants was recruited from the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Three separate models were compared to determine which best explained the relationships between PTSD, IPV, emotional intimacy, and relationship satisfaction. Constructs were assessed via a battery of standardized, self-report instruments. Thirty-three percent of veterans had clinically elevated PTSD scores, and 31% of the men reported that they engaged in physical IPV in the past year. Poor emotional intimacy mediated the association between PTSD symptoms and perpetration of physical IPV. Past predeployment IPV perpetration was shown to be a predictor for current postdeployment physical IPV perpetration.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:


Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, HLK
Stony Brook University, KDO


interpersonal relations, sexual partners, psychology, spouse abuse, psychology, stress disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, veterans, adult, afghan campaign 2001-, comorbidity, emotions, female, humans, iraq war, 2003-2011, male, mental health, statistics & numerical data, middle aged, risk factors, spouse abuse, epidemiology, united states, veterans, young adult

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

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