Posttraumatic stress disorder in a national sample of female and male Vietnam veterans: risk factors, war-zone stressors, and resilience-recovery variables

J Abnorm Psychol. 1999 Feb;108(1):164-70. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.108.1.164.


Relationships among pretrauma risk factors (e.g., family instability, childhood antisocial behavior), war-zone stressors (e.g., combat, perceived threat), posttrauma resilience-recovery variables (e.g., hardiness, social support), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity were examined. Data from a national sample of 432 female and 1,200 male veterans were analyzed using structural equation modeling. For both genders, direct links to PTSD from pretrauma, war-zone, and posttrauma variable categories were found; several direct associations between pretrauma and posttrauma variables were documented. Although war-zone stressors appeared preeminent for PTSD in men, posttrauma resilience-recovery variables were more salient for women. Researchers, policymakers, and clinicians are urged to take a broad view on trauma and its sequelae, especially regarding possible multiple exposures over time and the depletion and availability of important resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Registries
  • Remission Induction
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Social Support
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vietnam
  • Warfare