Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


The purpose of this study was to historically examine the biopsychosocial effects of combat-related trauma in veterans with the purpose of guiding treatment. The evolution of the combat-related trauma diagnosis from WWI to present conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan was examined, inclusive of etiology, symptomatology, pathology, and treatment interventions as understood through a biological, psychological and social perspective. Clinical social workers are well aware that new ideas with regards to treatment methodology do not occur in a vacuum. To be considered and accepted they must be compatible with existing ideas created through other sciences, technological advancement, economic conditions, political climate, and social milieu. This thesis examined these influences and their effect on the historical diagnosis and treatment of combat-related trauma. As the Smith College School for Social Work was founded with the purpose of treating soldiers returning from World War I who suffered from combat-neuroses, this thesis also explored the schools historical contribution to the field of clinical social work as it pertained to combat-related trauma through curriculum, theoretical perspectives, and endorsement of treatment paradigms. Finally, content reflected the diversity of soldiers who have continuously served in our armed forces and the sacrifices made by all as evidenced by the personal narratives woven throughout. Within this research several gaps and discrepancies were discovered while many insights were gained; allowing for specific treatment recommendations and relative conclusions.


iii, 298 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 276-298).