In this study, the authors examined the effect of retirement on psychological and physical symptoms in 404 older male veterans who were taking part in an ongoing longitudinal study. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze symptom trajectories from preretirement, peri-retirement, and postretirement periods in veterans with either lifetime full or partial posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma exposure only, or no traumatic exposure. As expected, the PTSD group experienced greater increases in psychological and physical symptoms during retirement, relative to the other groups. Retirement due to poor health in the PTSD group did not account for the findings regarding physical symptoms. Results indicate that clinicians should recognize and address the potential for older individuals with PTSD to experience difficulties during retirement.
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