Verbal and physical aggression in World War II former prisoners of war: Role of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression



This study examined the relationship among posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and intimate partner relationship aggression in a community sample of World War II (WWII) male military former prisoners of war (POWs). Sixty percent of these POWs reported verbal aggression in their marriages, and 12% endorsed physical aggression. Both verbal and physical aggression were significantly correlated to the severity of captivity trauma and to PTSD symptoms. Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms significantly mediated the relationship between severity of trauma and both verbal and physical aggression. Depression was a significant moderator of the relationship between PTSD and both physical and verbal aggression. Theoretical and clinical implications are suggested.