Mental Health

The Neurocognitive Performance of Female Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Citation:

Stricker, Nikki H., Jenna E. Keller, Diane T. Castillo, and Kathleen Y. Haaland. 2015. “The Neurocognitive Performance of Female Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 28 (2): 102–9. doi:10.1002/jts.22000.

Authors: Diane T. Castillo, Kathleen Y. Haaland, Jenna E. Keller, Nikki H. Stricker

Abstract:

Neurocognitive problems are common with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are important to understand because of their association with the success of PTSD treatment and its potential neural correlates. To our knowledge, this is the first neurocognitive study in an all-female U.S. veteran sample, some of whom had PTSD. We examined neurocognitive performance and assessed whether learning deficits, common in PTSD, were associated with executive functioning. Veterans with PTSD (n = 56) and without (n = 53) were evaluated for psychiatric and neurocognitive status. The PTSD group had a lower estimated IQ (d = 0.53) and performed more poorly on all neurocognitive domains (d range = 0.57–0.88), except verbal retention (d = 0.04). A subset of the 2 groups that were matched on IQ and demographics similarly demonstrated poorer performance for the PTSD group on all neurocognitive domains (d range = 0.52–0.79), except verbal retention (d = 0.15). Within the PTSD group, executive functioning accounted for significant variance in verbal learning over and above IQ and processing speed (ΔR2 = .06), as well as depression (ΔR2 = .07) and PTSD severity (ΔR2 = .06). This study demonstrated that female veterans with PTSD performed more poorly than females without PTSD on several neurocognitive domains, including verbal learning, processing speed, and executive functioning. Replication of these results using a control group of veterans with more similar trauma exposure, history of mild traumatic brain injury, and psychiatric comorbidities would solidify these findings.

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

Year: 2015

Military Sexual Assault, Gender, and PTSD Treatment Outcomes of U.S. Veterans

Citation:

Tiet, Quyen Q., Yani E. Leyva, Kathy Blau, Jessica A. Turchik, and Craig S. Rosen. 2015. “Military Sexual Assault, Gender, and PTSD Treatment Outcomes of U.S. Veterans.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 28 (2): 92–101. doi:10.1002/jts.21992.

Authors: Kathy Blau, Yani E. Leyva, Craig S. Rosen, Quyen Q. Tiet, Jessica A. Turchik

Abstract:

This study examined whether gender and military sexual assault (MSA) were associated with psychiatric severity differences at initiation of treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and whether MSA and gender predicted psychiatric treatment outcomes. Male (n = 726) and female (n = 111) patients were recruited from 7 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) PTSD specialty intensive treatment programs and completed an intake survey; 69% (n = 574) of the participants completed a 4-month postdischarge follow-up survey. Measures included current PTSD and depressive symptoms, aggressive/violent behaviors, alcohol and drug use severity, and quality of life. Multilevel multivariate regression analyses were conducted to examine the main and interaction effects of gender and MSA on psychiatric treatment outcomes at 4-month follow-up, including demographics, baseline severity, hostile fire, and treatment length of stay. Baseline PTSD severity did not differ by gender or MSA status, but women had more severe depressive symptoms (d = 0.40) and less aggressive/violent symptoms (d = −0.46) than men. Gender, MSA status, and the interaction between gender and MSA did not predict treatment outcomes as hypothesized. Male and female veterans with and without MSA responded equally well to treatment in VA PTSD intensive treatment programs.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Mental Health, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2015

The Role of Natural Disaster in Individual and Relational Adjustment in Sri Lankan Mothers Following the 2004 Tsunami

Citation:

Banford, Alyssa, David C. Ivey, Thulitha Wickrama, Judith Fischer, Anne Prouty, and Douglas Smith. 2016. “The Role of Natural Disaster in Individual and Relational Adjustment in Sri Lankan Mothers Following the 2004 Tsunami.” Disasters 40 (1): 134–57. doi:10.1111/disa.12137.

Authors: Alyssa Banford, David C. Ivey, Thulitha Wickrama, Judith Fischer, Anne Prouty, Douglas Smith

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between maternal mental health distress symptoms, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, the extent to which the presence of a child's disaster-related physical health problem(s) have interfered with daily functioning, and family cohesion over time among Sri Lankan mothers who survived the tsunami on 26 December 2004. Study variables were measured using a self-report questionnaire administered approximately four months after the event and three years later in summer 2008. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were conducted. Path analysis was employed to assess the relationships between the key variables over time and the correlations in the study variables at each time point. Among other findings, the results of the path analysis indicated that post-traumatic stress symptom distress four months after the disaster significantly predicted variance in family cohesion three years later. Clinical and empirical research implications are presented and discussed.

Keywords: mental health, mothers, Sri Lanka, tsunami

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2016

Deployment Experiences, Social Support, and Mental Health: Comparison of Black, White, and Hispanic U.S. Veterans Deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq

Citation:

Muralidharan, Anjana, David Austern, Samantha Hack, and Dawne Vogt. 2016. “Deployment Experiences, Social Support, and Mental Health: Comparison of Black, White, and Hispanic U.S. Veterans Deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 29 (3): 273–78. doi:10.1002/jts.22104.

Authors: David Austern, Samantha Hack, Anjana Muralidharan, Dawne Vogt

Abstract:

Compared to their White counterparts, Black and Hispanic Vietnam-era, male, combat veterans in the United States have experienced discrimination and increased trauma exposure during deployment and exhibited higher rates of postdeployment mental health disorders. The present study examined differences in deployment experiences and postdeployment mental health among male and female Black, Hispanic, and White veterans deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Data were drawn from a national survey of veterans (N = 924) who had returned from deployment within the last 2 years. Ethnoracial minority veterans were compared to White veterans of the same gender on deployment experiences and postdeployment mental health. The majority of comparisons did not show significant differences; however, several small group differences did emerge (.02 < η2 < .04). Ethnoracial minority veterans reported greater perceived threat in the warzone and more family-related concerns and stressors during deployment than White veterans of the same gender. Minority female veterans reported higher levels of postdeployment symptoms of anxiety than their White counterparts, which were accounted for by differences in deployment experience. These differences call for ongoing monitoring.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Gender Analysis, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Race Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2016

Sexual Health in Male and Female Iraq and Afghanistan U. S. War Veterans With and Without PTSD: Findings From the VALOR Cohort

Citation:

Breyer, Benjamin N., Shona C. Fang, Karen H. Seal, Gayatri Ranganathan, Brian P. Marx, Terence M. Keane, and Raymond C. Rosen. 2016. “Sexual Health in Male and Female Iraq and Afghanistan U. S. War Veterans With and Without PTSD: Findings From the VALOR Cohort.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 29 (3): 229–36. doi:10.1002/jts.22097.

Authors: Benjamin N. Breyer, Shona C. Fang, Terence M. Keane, Brian P. Marx, Gayatri Ranganathan, Raymond C. Rosen, Karen H. Seal

Abstract:

We sought to determine whether posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was associated with sexual health in returned warzone-deployed veterans from the recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. We studied 1,581 males and females from the Veterans After-Discharge Longitudinal Registry, a gender-balanced U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs registry of health care-seeking veterans with and without PTSD. Approximately one quarter (25.1%) of males (n = 198) and 12.7% of females (n = 101) had a sexual dysfunction diagnosis and/or prescription treatment for sexual dysfunction. Both genders were more likely to have a sexual dysfunction diagnosis and/or prescription treatment if they had PTSD compared with those without PTSD (male: 27.3% vs. 21.1%, p = .054; female: 14.9% vs. 9.4%, p = .022). Among the 1,557 subjects analyzed here, males with PTSD had similar levels of sexual activity compared to those without PTSD (71.2% vs. 75.4%, p = .22), whereas females with PTSD were less likely to be sexually active compared to females without PTSD (58.7% vs. 72.1%, p < .001). Participants with PTSD were also less likely to report sex-life satisfaction (male: 27.6% vs. 46.0%, p < .001; female: 23.0% vs. 45.7%, p < .001) compared with those without PTSD. Although PTSD was not associated with sexual dysfunction after adjusting for confounding factors, it was significantly negatively associated with sex-life satisfaction in female veterans with a prevalence ratio of .71, 95% confidence interval [.57, .90].

Topics: Armed Conflict, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender Analysis, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2016

Sexual Trauma and Adverse Health and Occupational Outcomes Among Men Serving in the U.S. Military

Citation:

Millegan, Jeffrey, Lawrence Wang, Cynthia A. LeardMann, Derek Miletich, and Amy E. Street. 2016. “Sexual Trauma and Adverse Health and Occupational Outcomes Among Men Serving in the U.S. Military.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 29 (2): 132–40. doi:10.1002/jts.22081.

Authors: Cynthia A. LeardMann, Derek Miletich, Jeffrey Millegan, Amy E. Street, Lawrence Wang

Annotation:

Although absolute counts of U.S. service men who experience sexual trauma are comparable to service women, little is known about the impact of sexual trauma on men. The association of recent sexual trauma (last 3 years) with health and occupational outcomes was investigated using longitudinal data (2004–2013) from the Millennium Cohort Study. Of 37,711 service men, 391 (1.0%) reported recent sexual harassment and 76 (0.2%) sexual assault. In multivariable models, sexual harassment or assault, respectively, was associated with poorer mental health: AOR = 1.60, 95% CI [1.22, 2.12], AOR = 4.39, 95% CI [2.40, 8.05]; posttraumatic stress disorder: AOR = 2.50, 95% CI [1.87, 3.33], AOR = 6.63, 95% CI [3.65, 12.06]; depression: AOR = 2.37, 95% CI [1.69, 3.33], AOR = 5.60, 95% CI [2.83, 11.09]; and multiple physical symptoms: AOR = 2.22, 95% CI [1.69, 2.92]; AOR = 3.57, 95% CI [1.98, 6.42], after adjustment for relevant covariates. Sexual harassment was also associated with poorer physical health: AOR = 1.68, 95% CI [1.27, 2.22]. Men who reported sexual trauma were more likely to have left military service: AOR = 1.60, 95% CI [1.14, 2.24], and be disabled/unemployed postservice: AOR = 1.76, 95% CI [1.02, 3.02]. Results suggest that sexual trauma was significantly associated with adverse health and functionality extending to postmilitary life. Findings support the need for developing better prevention strategies and services to reduce the burden of sexual trauma on service men.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Male Combatants, Men, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, SV against Men Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2016

Developmental Trajectories and Predictors of Prosocial Behavior Among Adolescents Exposed to the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake

Citation:

Qin, Yanyun, Ya Zhou, Fang Fan, Shijian Chen, Rong Huang, Rouna Cai, and Ting Peng. 2016. “Developmental Trajectories and Predictors of Prosocial Behavior Among Adolescents Exposed to the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 29 (1): 80–87. doi:10.1002/jts.22064.

Authors: Rouna Cai, Shijian Chen, Fang Fan, Rong Huang, Ting Peng, Yanyun Qin, Ya Zhou

Abstract:

This longitudinal study examined the developmental trajectories of prosocial behavior and related predictors among adolescents exposed to the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. At 6-, 18-, and 30-months postearthquake, we followed a sample of 1,573 adolescents. Self-report measures were used to assess earthquake exposure, postearthquake negative life events, prosocial behavior, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, social support, and coping style. Data were analyzed using growth mixture modeling and multinomial logistic regressions. Four trajectories of postearthquake prosocial behavior were identified in the sample: (a) high/enhancing (35.0%), (b) high/stable (29.4%), (c) low/declining (33.6%), and (d) low/steeply declining (2.0%). Female gender, more social support, and greater positive coping were significant factors related to a higher probability of developing the high/enhancing trajectory. These findings may be helpful for us to identify adolescents with poor prosocial behavior after exposure to earthquakes so as to provide them with appropriate intervention.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Analysis, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2016

Questionable Associations: The Role of Forgiveness in Transitional Justice

Citation:

Saunders, Rebecca. 2011. “Questionable Associations: The Role of Forgiveness in Transitional Justice.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 5 (1): 119–41. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijr003.

Author: Rebecca Saunders

Abstract:

Forgiveness has gained surprising prominence in transitional justice circles due, in part, to the impact of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, advocacy of forgiveness by educational and social psychologists and critiques of retributive justice in critical legal studies. Drawing on philosophy, psychology, literature, legal theory and records of transitional justice in situ, this article argues that while advocates claim significant personal and social benefits derive from forgiveness, transitional justice should not consider forgiveness an a priori good or as commensurate with either reconciliation or peacebuilding. Before advocating forgiveness as a form of personal healing or social reconciliation, artisans of transitional justice mechanisms should consider that the repression of anger or resentment may be psychologically harmful and that perceived pressure to forgive may cause significant psychic distress. They should carefully consider the ways in which rhetoric or practices of forgiveness may facilitate perpetrators’ ability to do harm, teach victims to make peace with their oppression and reinforce structures of inequality.

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2011

War and Sexual Violence — Mental Health Care for Survivors

Citation:

Watts, Charlotte, Mazeda Hossain, and Cathy Zimmerman. 2013. “War and Sexual Violence — Mental Health Care for Survivors.” New England Journal of Medicine 368 (23): 2152–54. doi:10.1056/NEJMp1304712.

Authors: Charlotte Watts, Mazeda Hossain, Cathy Zimmerman

Topics: Armed Conflict, Health, Mental Health, Sexual Violence

Year: 2013

Mental Health of Female Survivors of Human Trafficking in Nepal

Citation:

Tsutsumi, Atsuro, Takashi Izutsu, Amod K. Poudyal, Seika Kato, and Eiji Marui. 2008. “Mental Health of Female Survivors of Human Trafficking in Nepal.” Social Science & Medicine 66 (8): 1841–47. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.12.025.

Authors: Atsuro Tsutsumi, Takashi Izutsu, Amod K. Poudyal, Seika Kato, Eiji Marui

Abstract:

Little is known about the mental health status of trafficked women, even though international conventions require that it be con- sidered. This study, therefore, aims at exploring the mental health status, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), of female survivors of human trafficking who are currently supported by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, through comparison between those who were forced to work as sex workers and those who worked in other areas such as domestic and circus work (non-sex workers group). The Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 (HSCL-25) was administered to assess anxiety and depression, and the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version (PCL-C) was used to eval- uate PTSD. Both the sex workers’ and the non-sex workers’ groups had a high proportion of cases with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. The sex workers group tended to have more anxiety symptoms (97.7%) than the non-sex workers group (87.5%). Regarding depression, all the constituents of the sex workers group scored over the cut-off point (100%), and the group showed a significantly higher prevalence than the non-sex workers (80.8%). The proportion of those who are above the cut-off for PTSD was higher in the sex workers group (29.6%) than in the non-sex workers group (7.5%). There was a higher rate of HIV infection in the sex workers group (29.6%) than in the non-sex workers group (0%). The findings suggest that programs to address human trafficking should include interventions (such as psychosocial support) to improve survivors’ mental health status, paying attention to the category of work performed during the trafficking period. In particular, the current efforts of the United Nations and various NGOs that help survivors of human trafficking need to more explicitly focus on mental health and psychosocial support.

 

Keywords: human trafficking, women, Nepal, mental health, sex work, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2008

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