Marital relations among former prisoners of war: contribution of posttraumatic stress disorder, aggression, and sexual satisfaction

J Fam Psychol. 2006 Dec;20(4):709-12. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.4.709.


In this study, the authors examined the marital adjustment, spousal aggression, and sexual satisfaction of prisoners of war (POWs) 3 decades after their release. More specifically, the authors examined the extent to which impaired marital relations among former POWs are an outcome of their captivity or of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that some of them developed. The authors compared 25 former POWs with PTSD, 85 former POWs without PTSD, and 104 control veterans. The findings reveal that the marital problems of former POWs are more related to PTSD than to their captivity. PTSD is related to decreased marital satisfaction, increased verbal aggression, and heightened sexual dissatisfaction among former POWs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Combat Disorders / diagnosis
  • Combat Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Warfare*