Predictors of posttraumatic stress reactions in Norwegian U.N. peacekeepers 7 years after service



A sample of 1,624 Norwegian veterans from the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) was investigated on average 6.6 years after service, completing a questionnaire focusing on stress exposure and posttraumatic stress reactions. The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (measured by the Posttraumatic Symptom Scale [PTSS-10]) was 5% overall, but 16% in the subgroup of personnel having been prematurely repatriated from UNIFIL. Multiple regression analyses showed that the following variables made separate and significant contributions to the explained variance of the PTSS-10: Service stress exposure, perceived lack of meaningfulness with respect to the military mission, and stressful life-events in life after service. These factors explained 25% (overall sample) and 37% (repatriated sample) of the variation in the posttraumatic symptom score.