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Couple functioning and post-traumatic stress symptoms in US army couples: The role of resilience

Authors

  • Kristal C. Melvin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Nursing Science and Clinical Inquiry, Madigan Health Systems, Tacoma, WA
    • Center for Nursing Science and Clinical Inquiry, Madigan Health Systems, 9040 Jackson Ave, Tacoma, WA 98431.
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    • Nurse Scientist Center for Nursing Science and Clinical Inquiry; Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Nurse Corps.

  • Deborah Gross,

    1. Acute and Chronic Care, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
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    • Leonard and Helen Stulman Professor in Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing.

  • Matthew J. Hayat,

    1. College of Nursing, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
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    • Assistant Professor.

  • Bonnie Mowinski Jennings,

    1. Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
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    • Visiting Professor.

  • Jacquelyn C. Campbell

    1. Community-Public Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
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    • Anna D. Wolf Chair and Professor.


  • This research was sponsored by the TriService Nursing Research Program (TSNRP), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). However, the information, conclusions do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred by, the TSNRP, USUHS, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate combat-related post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and couple relationships in Army couples. US Army combat veteran couples (N = 66 couples) completed self-report questionnaires on couple functioning, coercion, resilience, and PTSS. In 23% of the couples (n = 15), both members had PTSS above the clinical cut-off for suspected Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Higher levels of PTSS were associated with lower couple functioning and resilience. Individuals with high resilience scores reported higher couple functioning scores, regardless of PTSS (p = .004). Future researchers should focus on the role of resilience in relation to couple functioning, and ways to amplify resilience in military couples. Published 2011. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Res Nurs Health 35:164–177, 2012

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