Analysis of violent behavior in Vietnam combat veteran psychiatric inpatients with posttraumatic stress disorder

J Trauma Stress. 1999 Jul;12(3):501-17. doi: 10.1023/A:1024771121189.


This study tested the hypothesis that male Vietnam veterans seeking inpatient treatment for PTSD (n = 228) exhibit more violent behavior compared with a mixed diagnostic group of male psychiatric inpatients without PTSD (n = 64) and a community sample of Vietnam veterans with PTSD not undergoing inpatient treatment (n = 273). Violent acts assessed included property destruction, threats without a weapon, physical fighting, and threats with a weapon. PTSD inpatients engaged in more types of violent behavior than both comparison conditions. Correlates of violence among PTSD inpatients included PTSD symptom severity and, to a lesser degree, measures of substance abuse. These findings justify routine assessment of violent behavior among inpatient with PTSD, as well as application of specialized interventions for anger dyscontrol and aggression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Vietnam
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Washington