Comparing Intimately Violent to Non-violent Veterans in Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Abstract

The impact on relationships and adjustment to life after warzone deployments is a major concern, especially when the Veteran also struggles with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this manuscript, we describe and compare Veterans who are intimately violent to non-violent Veterans who are in treatment for PTSD. In order to accurately identify the presence of intimate partner violence (IPV) we relied on both Veterans’ and their partners’ reports in the form of interviews and questionnaires. Additionally, we examined the following variables to determine if PTSD severity, childhood witnessing of inter-parental IPV, substance use/abuse, mutuality, and demographic variables could reliably differentiate Veterans perpetrating IPV from those who were not. Of the overall sample (N = 882; Veterans and partners), 43% of the male Veterans met our operationally defined criteria for IPV. Among the variables identified above, only the level of relationship mutuality significantly differentiated the intimately violent from non-violent.

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Correspondence to April A. Gerlock.

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Gerlock, A.A., Szarka, J.G., Cox, K. et al. Comparing Intimately Violent to Non-violent Veterans in Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. J Fam Viol 31, 667–678 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-016-9814-2

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Keywords

  • PTSD
  • Abuse
  • Veterans
  • Couples
  • Treatment