Deployment stressors, gender, and mental health outcomes among Gulf War I veterans

J Trauma Stress. 2005 Jun;18(3):272-84. doi: 10.1002/jts.20044.


Findings indicate that war-zone exposure has negative implications for the postdeployment adjustment of veterans; however, most studies have relied on limited conceptualizations of war-zone exposure and focused on male samples. In this study, an array of deployment stressors that were content valid for both female and male Gulf War I military personnel was examined to elucidate gender differences in war-zone exposure and identify gender-based differential associations between stressors and mental health outcomes. While women and men were exposed to both mission-related and interpersonal stressors and both stressor categories were associated with mental health outcomes, women reported more interpersonal stressors and these stressors generally had a stronger impact on women's than on men's mental health. Exceptions are described, and implications are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Gulf War*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Social Support
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / psychology*