Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 115–125 | Cite as

Posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol use, and physical health concerns

  • Debra Kaysen
  • David W. Pantalone
  • Neharika Chawla
  • Kristen P. Lindgren
  • Gretchen A. Clum
  • Christine Lee
  • Patricia A. Resick


PTSD is a risk factor for alcohol problems and both in turn have been independently associated with increased health problems. However, it is unclear whether alcohol use moderates the relationship between PTSD and health. Participants were battered women (N = 336) recruited from local domestic violence shelters and non-shelter victim-assistance agencies. A 2 (PTSD diagnosis) × 3 (abstainer, infrequent/light, regular/heavy drinking) ANCOVA was conducted, with injuries and length of abuse as covariates and health concerns as the dependent variable. Main effects for PTSD and alcohol use were significant but not the interaction. Women with PTSD reported the greatest number of health concerns. Women who abstained from drinking and those who drank regularly/heavily reported more health concerns than the infrequent/light drinkers. Health concerns associated with PTSD do not appear to be due to problem drinking. In addition, infrequent/light drinking, even for women with PTSD, may be associated with fewer health concerns.


Posttraumatic stress disorder Alcohol use Victimization Family violence Physical health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra Kaysen
    • 1
    • 2
  • David W. Pantalone
    • 3
  • Neharika Chawla
    • 4
  • Kristen P. Lindgren
    • 2
  • Gretchen A. Clum
    • 5
  • Christine Lee
    • 2
  • Patricia A. Resick
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Center for Trauma RecoveryUniversity of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Department of PsychologyHunter College City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  6. 6.Women’s Health Sciences DivisionNational Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare SystemBostonUSA
  7. 7.Departments of Psychology and PsychiatryBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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