The role of intimate relationships, appraisals of military service, and gender on the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms following Iraq deployment

J Trauma Stress. 2011 Jun;24(3):277-86. doi: 10.1002/jts.20632. Epub 2011 May 5.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted to examine risk and protective factors for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms reported by soldiers (n = 2,583) at postdeployment. Positive appraisals of military service related negatively, OR = 0.86, 95% CI [0.83, 0.89], to screening positive for presumed PTSD at postdeployment. Decreases in perceived intimate relationship strength from predeployment to postdeployment were positively associated with presumed PTSD at higher, but not lower, levels of combat exposure; this effect, OR = 1.91, 95% CI [1.08, 3.39], was found only for female soldiers. Overall risk for postdeployment presumed PTSD was found to be nearly 2.5 times greater for women, as compared to men. In addition, positive screening rates of anxiety, depression, hazardous alcohol use, and PTSD increased from predeployment to postdeployment, with the most prominent increase found for PTSD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Young Adult