Recent Sexual Trauma and Adverse Health and Occupational Outcomes Among U.S. Service Women


Millegan, Jeffrey, Emma K. Milburn, Cynthia A. LeardMann, Amy E. Street, Diane Williams, Daniel W. Trone, and Nancy F. Crum-Cianflone. 2015. “Recent Sexual Trauma and Adverse Health and Occupational Outcomes Among U.S. Service Women.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 28 (4): 298–306. doi:10.1002/jts.22028.

Authors: Nancy F. Crum-Cianflone, Cynthia A. LeardMann, Jeffrey Millegan, Emma K. Milburn, Amy E. Street, Daniel W. Trone, Diane Williams


Sexual trauma is prevalent among military women, but data on potential effects are needed. The association of sexual trauma with health and occupational outcomes was investigated using longitudinal data from the Millennium Cohort Study. Of 13,001 U.S. service women, 1,364 (10.5%) reported recent sexual harassment and 374 (2.9%) recent sexual assault. Women reporting recent sexual harassment or assault were more likely to report poorer mental health: OR = 1.96, 95% CI [1.71, 2.25], and OR = 3.45, 95% CI [2.67, 4.44], respectively. They reported poorer physical health: OR = 1.39, 95% CI [1.20, 1.62], and OR = 1.39, 95% CI [1.04, 1.85], respectively. They reported difficulties in work/activities due to emotional health: OR = 1.80, 95% CI [1.59, 2.04], and OR = 2.70, 95% CI [2.12, 3.44], respectively. They also reported difficulties with physical health: OR = 1.55, 95% CI [1.37, 1.75], and OR = 1.52 95% CI [1.20, 1.91], respectively, after adjustment for demographic, military, health, and prior sexual trauma characteristics. Recent sexual harassment was associated with demotion, OR = 1.47, 95% CI [1.12, 1.93]. Findings demonstrated that sexual trauma represents a potential threat to military operational readiness and draws attention to the importance of prevention strategies and services to reduce the burden of sexual trauma on military victims.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Health, Mental Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2015

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