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Posttraumatic Stress and Stigma in Active-Duty Service Members Relate to Lower Likelihood of Seeking Support


  • Rebecca K. Blais,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mental Health Service, VA Puget Sound–Seattle Division, Seattle, Washington, USA
    • Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Rebecca K. Blais, Rush University, 1645 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail:

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  • Keith D. Renshaw,

    1. Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
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  • Matthew Jakupcak

    1. Mental Health Service, VA Puget Sound–Seattle Division, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
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  • This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at VA Puget Sound, Seattle Division.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common mental health concern for returning service members. Social support is a robust predictor of resiliency and recovery from PTSD; however, barriers to seeking support are understudied. PTSD and anticipated enacted stigma from family and friends were explored as correlates of the likelihood of seeking support among 153 Iraq/Afghanistan U.S. service members. Results showed that PTSD (r = −.31, p < .001) and anticipated enacted stigma (r = −.22, p ≤ .01) were negatively associated with likelihood of seeking support. Post hoc analyses showed that only dysphoria (r = −.32, p < .001) was significantly related to the likelihood of seeking support after accounting for anticipated enacted stigma and other PTSD clusters. Implications of these findings and ways to increase likelihood of seeking support are discussed.

Traditional and Simplified Chinese Abstracts by AsianSTSS


撮要:創傷後壓力症(PTSD)是軍人回國後常見的精神健康問題。社交支援能有效預測PTSD的復原及抗逆情形,但阻礙尋找支援的因素則在研究中大多未有檢視。本文研究153名伊拉克和阿富汗服役軍人,探討有關PTSD和預期中親友的標籤反應對尋求支援行為的關係。結果顯示PTSD (r=-.31,p≤.001)和預期標籤反應(r=-.22, p≤.01)與尋求支援行為成負相連。事後分析評估了預期標籤反應和其他PTSD症狀群的影響後,只有煩躁情緒 (r=-.32,p≤ .001) 與尋求支援行為能有效相連。本研究成果的影響和增強尋求支援行為的方法在本文有進一步討論。


撮要:创伤后压力症(PTSD)是军人回国后常见的精神健康问题。社交支持能有效预测PTSD的复原及抗逆情形,但阻碍寻找支持的因素则在研究中大多未有检视。本文研究153名伊拉克和阿富汗服役军人,探讨有关PTSD和预期中亲友的标签反应对寻求支持行为的关系。结果显示PTSD (r=-.31,p≤.001)和预期标签反应(r=-.22, p≤.01)与寻求支持行为成负相连。事后分析评估了预期标签反应和其他PTSD症状群的影响后,只有烦躁情绪 (r=-.32,p≤ .001) 与寻求支持行为能有效相连。本研究成果的影响和增强寻求支持行为的方法在本文有进一步讨论。