Family functioning predicts outcomes for veterans in treatment for chronic posttraumatic stress disorder

Lynette Evans, Sean Cowlishaw, Malcolm Hopwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A longitudinal framework was used to examine the competing hypotheses of (a) whether family functioning predicts changes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms or (b) whether PTSD symptoms predict changes in family functioning. Veterans (N = 311) admitted to a treatment program completed a series of questionnaires at 3 time points: at intake, from intake to completion of a treatment program, and at the 6-month follow-up. Alcohol use and general mental health symptoms were also measured at intake. A cross-lagged panel model using structural equation modeling analyses indicated that family functioning was a moderate predictor of PTSD symptoms at posttreatment and at the 6-month follow-up. PTSD was not a significant predictor of family functioning across time and alcohol use, and general mental health symptoms did not affect the overall findings. Further analyses of PTSD symptom clusters indicated that the avoidance symptom cluster was most strongly related to family functioning. Targeting family relationships for treatment may be important in the future for veterans with PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

Bibliographical note

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

Keywords

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combat Disorders
  • Family Conflict
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychometrics
  • Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans
  • Victoria

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