Posttraumatic stress disorder in female veterans with military and civilian sexual trauma

Authors

  • Naomi Himmelfarb,

    Corresponding author
    1. VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Women's Comprehensive Healthcare Center, and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
    • VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Women's Health Program, OOAC/WC, 11301 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90073
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Deborah Yaeger,

    1. VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Women's Comprehensive Healthcare Center, and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jim Mintz

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

This study examines relationships among military sexual trauma (MST), nonmilitary sexual trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A sample of 196 female veterans was assessed for trauma occurring before, during, and after military service, and for current PTSD. The prevalence of MST was higher than that of premilitary and postmilitary sexual trauma. Premilitary trauma did not significantly increase the odds of experiencing MST, but did increase the odds of experiencing postmilitary sexual trauma. Logistic regression analyses revealed MST was more strongly associated with PTSD than was premilitary or postmilitary trauma. Women with MST had the greatest increased odds of developing PTSD. Understanding risk factors for and taking steps to prevent MST may reduce cases of PTSD in female veterans.

Ancillary