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Keywords:

  • self-disclosure;
  • peacekeeping

Abstract

The challenges of peacekeeping place individuals at risk for the development of significant psychological distress (e.g., B. T. Litz, S. Orsillo, M. Freidman, P. Ehlich, & A. Batres, 1997). Self-disclosure has been shown to ameliorate psychological distress following exposure to potentially traumatic events (J. W. Pennebaker & K. D. Harber, 1993). Sharing, or self-disclosure of deployment-related experiences, was the focus of this study and was hypothesized to be associated with adaptation. As part of a larger investigation, 426 U.S. military personnel who served as peacekeepers in Somalia were administered a comprehensive psychosocial questionnaire that included measures of exposure to negative and potentially traumatic experiences, reception at homecoming, self-disclosure, and PTSD symptom severity. The results indicate that adjustment to peacekeeping is significantly related to self-disclosure, especially to supportive significant others.