The association between deployment-related posttraumatic growth among U.S. army soldiers and negative behavioral health conditions


  • The work submitted conforms to all governmental regulations and discipline appropriate professional ethical standards. This work was exempted from institutional review board review and participants did not provide informed consent because this was done as part of a rapid public health surveillance, however individuals did have the right to refuse to participate.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Government, or any of the institutional affiliations listed.

    We thank all of the Soldiers who completed the survey. We also thank the authors of the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory, and Lawrence G. Calhoun and Richard G. Tedeschi (University of North Carolina Charlotte), who allowed us to incorporate the instrument into our survey. Drs. Freddy Paniagua and Sandra Black and Ms. Michelle Coombs were instrumental in the editing and review of this manuscript.


Objectives: This study assessed posttraumatic growth (PTG) in a sample of U.S. Army Soldiers using the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), and the relationship between PTG and negative behavioral health (BH) conditions. Design: A sample of Soldiers with prior combat deployment experience (n = 1,834) completed an anonymous survey including demographics, the PTGI, and negative BH conditions. Results: Among previously deployed Soldiers, those reporting the highest number of combat experiences also reported significantly higher overall PTG. A significant inverse relationship was observed between PTG and recent suicidal ideation, whereby Soldiers reporting recent suicidal ideation reported significantly lower overall PTG. Conclusions: This study quantified PTG resulting from deployment and demonstrated the degree to which combat experiences might result in PTG. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 67:1–10, 2011.