Longitudinal analyses of family functioning in veterans and their partners across treatment

Lynette Evans, Sean Cowlishaw, David Forbes, Ruth Parslow, Virginia Lewis

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

70 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the relations between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and poor family functioning in veterans and their partners.

METHOD: Data were collected from Caucasian veterans with PTSD (N = 1,822) and their partners (N = 702); mean age = 53.9 years, SD = 7.36. Veterans completed the Posttraumatic Checklist Military Version (PCL-M) and, along with their partners, completed the McMaster Family Assessment Device (FAD-12). Assessments were conducted at intake into a treatment program at 3 months and 9 months posttreatment.

RESULTS: Structural equation models (SEMs) were developed for veterans as well as for veterans and their partners. Poor family functioning for veterans at intake predicted intrusion (β = .08), hyperarousal (β = .07), and avoidance (β = .09) at 3 months posttreatment. At 3 months posttreatment, family functioning predicted hyperarousal (β = .09) and avoidance (β = .10) at 9 months. For veterans and their partners, family functioning at intake predicted avoidance (β = .07) at 3 months, and poor family functioning at 3 months predicted intrusion (β = .09) and hyperarousal (β = .14) at 9 months. The reverse pathways, with PTSD symptoms predicting poor family functioning, were only evident with avoidance (β = .06).

CONCLUSION: Family functioning may play a role in treatment for veterans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-22
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved.


  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Arousal
  • Checklist
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Combat Disorders
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Family Conflict
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy
  • Marriage
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychometrics
  • Social Distance
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • Veterans


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