Study Suggests Male OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD More Likely to Perpetrate and Experience Aggressive Behavior toward/from Female Partners
Previous research has shown higher rates of physical partner aggression committed by Vietnam Veterans with PTSD compared to Veterans without PTSD or civilians. This study examined the nature and frequency of self-reported partner aggression among three male cohorts recruited from one large VAMC outpatient PTSD clinic: OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD (n=27), OEF/OIF Veterans without PTSD (n=31), and Vietnam Veterans with PTSD (n=28). Using questionnaires, investigators measured past instances of emotional/psychological, verbal, physical, and sexual aggression; they also explored Veterans' reports of the violence they had experienced from their female partners.
Findings show that OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD were significantly more likely to report psychologically abusing their partners than OEF/OIF Veterans without PTSD. Although other comparisons did not reach significance (p <.05), odds ratios suggested that OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD were about two to three times more likely than the other two groups to report perpetrating or sustaining violence. OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD also were six times more likely to report sustaining injury from their female partners than OEF/OIF Veterans without PTSD. Significant correlations among reports of violence perpetrated and sustained suggest many men may have been in mutually violent relationships. In terms of family functioning, 63% of OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD reported having children in the home. These results emphasize the importance of assessing partner aggression in VA clinical settings in order to provide a more complete psychological picture of Veterans and their families' potential treatment considerations.
Teten A, Schumacher J, Taft C, Stanley M, Kent T, Bailey S, Dunn N, and White D. Intimate Partner Aggression Perpetrated and Sustained by Male Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam Veterans with and without Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of Interpersonal Violence February 2, 2010;E-pub before print.
This study was funded by VA. Drs. Stanley and White are part of HSR&D's Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies.