Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Veterans-Mental health-United States, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Interpersonal relations-Psychological aspects, Combat-Psychological aspects, Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001-, Iraq War, 2003-2011, PTSD, Veterans, Relationship distress, Deployment, Combat experience


As Veterans have returned home from the OEF/OIF wars they have faced many struggles with reintegration. Studies of Veterans returning home have found rates of PTSD as high as 18 % (Hoge et al., 2004; Hoge, Terhakopian, Castro, Messer, and Engel, 2007). The symptomatology of PTSD has historically complicated Veterans primary relationships as well other interpersonal relationships and this study seeks to look at the relationship between PTSD and interpersonal distress in a sample of Veterans returning from the OEF/OIF wars. The author conducted secondary analysis of data from a survey taken by a sample of Connecticut Veterans (n = 620) following the OEF/OIF wars. Veterans who screened positive for PTSD (n=58) were compared to Veterans who did not screen positive for PTSD (n =472). The author analyzed levels of relationship distress, combat experience, post-deployment social support, and deployment location. Veterans with PTSD reported higher levels of relationship distress, combat experience, and less social support than Veterans without PTSD (p< .001). Higher PTSD symptomatology was significant (p< .001) with deployment to Iraq compared to all other deployment locations in the survey. Study findings indicate a need for creating greater practical and emotional support for Veterans returning with PTSD through clinical collaboration with the Veteran, caregivers, family members, close friends, and the larger community.




iv, 40 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 33-38)

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