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The associations between deployment experiences, PTSD, and alcohol use among male and female veterans

APA Citation:

Banducci, A. N., McCaughey, V. K., Gradus, J. L., & Street, A. E. (2019). The associations between deployment experiences, PTSD, and alcohol use among male and female veterans. Addictive Behaviors, 98, 1-7.

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined factors that may amplify problematic alcohol use. Using a sample of 2,344 post-9/11 veterans, researchers sought to determine if posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, deployment traumas (i.e., warfare and military sexual trauma), and life disruptions (i.e., concerns about life at home, such as missing an important event or bringing harm to their relationship with their significant other) would increase the use of alcohol post-deployment. These associations were examined by gender. Results suggest that severe warfare and military sexual trauma were related to PTSD symptoms, which, in turn, were related to more problematic alcohol use. Further, life disruptions exacerbated these associations for women.

Focus:

Deployment
Mental health
Substance use
Veterans

Branch of Service:

Army
Marine Corps
Multiple branches
Navy

Military Affiliation:

Veteran

Subject Affiliation:

Veteran

Population:

Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)
Very old (85 yrs & older)

Methodology:

Cross-Sectional Study
Quantitative Study

Authors:

Banducci, Anne N., McCaughey, Virginia K., Gradus, Jaimie L., Street, Amy E.

Abstract:

Overview Alcohol use is common following traumatic military deployment experiences. What is less clear is why, and for whom, particular deployment experiences lead to alcohol use. Method The current study explored associations between deployment stressors (Warfare, Military Sexual Trauma, and Concerns about Life and Family Disruptions—“Life Disruptions”), PTSD (PCL-5), and alcohol use (CAGE) post-deployment, stratified by gender among 2344 male and female veterans (1137 men; Mage = 35). Conditional process analyses examined the indirect effect of traumatic deployment experiences on alcohol use, via PTSD symptom severity, with Life Disruptions as a moderator. Results More severe Warfare and military sexual trauma (MST) were associated with greater PTSD symptom severity, which was associated with higher problematic alcohol use. PTSD symptom severity accounted for the associations between trauma type (i.e., MST or Warfare) and alcohol use. Among women, but not men, Life Disruptions moderated the associations between trauma type (i.e., MST, Warfare) and PTSD symptom severity, such that elevated Life Disruptions amplified the associations between trauma type and PTSD symptom severity. Moderated mediation was significant for MST among women, indicating that the strength of the indirect effect (MST

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Elsevier Science

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication
Featured Research

Author Affiliation:

The National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, ANB
Boston University School of Medicine, ANB
The National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, VKM
Boston University School of Medicine, JLG
Boston Uiversity Schoolf of Public Health, JLG
The National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, AES
Boston University School of Medicine, AES

Keywords:

alcohol use, sexual assault, sexual harassment, combat, gender

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

Sponsors:

This research was supported by the National Center for PTSD, Office of Mental Health Services, Department of Veterans Affairs.

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