The contribution of stressful life events throughout the life cycle to combat-induced psychopathology

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Abstract

This study examines the contribution of prewar life events, war exposure, and postwar life events to combat-induced psychopathology among 425 Israeli War veterans from the Lebanon War. Data was collected at two time points (1983 and 2002). The sample included veterans with and without combat stress reaction (CSR). Battle intensity and subjective experience of risk in war were associated with CSR. Negative childhood life events, CSR, PTSD in 1983 and postwar negative life events were associated with PTSD in 2002. Furthermore, a path analysis revealed that CSR mediated the relation between battle intensity and PTSD in 2002. Our findings suggest that stressful life events throughout the life cycle contribute significantly to veterans' posttraumatic symptomatology, above and beyond combat exposure.

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