Secondary traumatization in partners and parents of Dutch peacekeeping soldiers

J Fam Psychol. 2005 Jun;19(2):217-26. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.19.2.217.


This study examines secondary traumatization among 708 partners and 332 parents of Dutch peacekeepers (i.e., personnel who participated in military actions implemented by international organizations such as the United Nations). Partners or parents of peacekeepers with 4 levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms were compared on posttraumatic stress, health problems, the quality of the marital relationship, and social support. In comparison with partners of peacekeepers without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, partners of peacekeepers with PTSD symptoms reported more sleeping and somatic problems, reported more negative social support, and judged the marital relationship as less favorable. No significant differences were found for parents. Thus, peacekeepers' stress reactions were related to various problems of their partners. A systemic approach to the treatment of persons with PTSD appears appropriate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires