Race, combat, and PTSD in a community sample of New Zealand Vietnam war veterans

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Abstract

The association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), combat exposure, and race was examined in a New Zealand community sample of 756 Vietnam War veterans. Maori veterans reported higher levels of PTSD than their non-Maori counterparts. However, the race effect was shown to be mediated by combat exposure level, rank, and combat role. These findings support differential experience explanations for the relationship between postwar adjustment and race, suggesting that higher levels of psychological symptoms reported by minority group veterans can be accounted for by their experience of higher levels of combat stressors.

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