Violence and hostility among families of Vietnam veterans with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder

Violence Vict. 2002 Aug;17(4):473-89. doi: 10.1891/vivi.17.4.473.33685.


The current study provides a portrait of emotional-behavioral functioning within a small sample of Vietnam veterans with combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), their partners, and older adolescent and adult children. Veterans, their partners and children reported moderate-low to moderate-high levels of violent behavior. In addition, partner and veteran hostility scores were elevated relative to gender and age matched norms. Partners also reported heightened levels of psychological maltreatment by veterans. Veterans' combat exposure was positively correlated with hostility and violent behavior among children but unrelated to partner variables. Veterans' reports of PTSD symptoms were positively associated with reports of hostility and violence among children, and hostility and general psychological distress among partners. Veterans' violent behavior was also positively correlated with children's violent behavior, but did not yield significant correlations with other child or partner variables. Findings are discussed in relation to prior work and directions for future research are addressed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combat Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Hostility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Vietnam
  • Violence*
  • Warfare