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Erbes CR, Meis LA, Polusny MA, Compton JS. Couple adjustment and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in National Guard veterans of the Iraq war. Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43). 2011 Aug 1; 25(4):479-87.
Relationship adjustment and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were assessed across two time points in a sample of 313 married or partnered National Guard soldiers recently returned from combat duty in Iraq. Structural equation modeling using a four-factor model for PTSD found the latent variable dysphoria (reflecting generalized distress including aspects of emotional numbing and arousal) had the strongest independent contribution to predicting relationship adjustment at Time 1 and indirectly predicted poorer relationship adjustment at Time 2. Exploratory analysis of gender differences (n = 33 women; n = 280 men) suggested a different pattern of relations between PTSD factors and relationship adjustment among female soldiers at Time 1, with a trend toward trauma specific avoidance being more highly related to relationship adjustment. Clinical and research implications are discussed.