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Keywords:

  • homecoming;
  • PTSD;
  • veterans;
  • assessment

Abstract

This study reports on the development of a self-report measure of the homecoming experience among Vietnam veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The West Haven Homecoming Stress Scale (WHHSS), measuring Frequency of Events, Intensity of Feelings, and Level of Support during the first 6 months after return from overseas, and within the past 6 months, was collected from 247 veterans who were receiving inpatient treatment for PTSD. Homecoming Stress was the most significant predictor of current PTSD symptomatology superseding combat exposure, childhood and civilian traumas, and stressful life events. A factor analysis resulted in four orthogonal factors: Shame, Negative Interpersonal Interaction, Social Withdrawal, and Resentment. Homecoming Stress was unchanged over the course of a 4 month inpatient program.