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Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, levels of social support, and emotional hiding in returning veterans.

Duax JM, Bohnert KM, Rauch SA, Defever AM. Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, levels of social support, and emotional hiding in returning veterans. Journal of rehabilitation research and development. 2014 Jul 1; 51(4):571-8.

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The current study examines the associations among levels of social support, emotional hiding, and screening positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within a sample of 536 Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans. Michigan and Ohio OIF/OEF veterans were contacted to complete a postdeployment mental health screening questionnaire developed as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System's Serving Returning Veterans Mental Health Program. Approximately 30% of veterans screened positive for PTSD. All sources of social support, as well as emotional hiding, were significantly associated with screening positive for PTSD. Each unit increase of emotional hiding from spouses or significant others, friends, and family was associated with a 32% to 44% increase in odds of screening positive for PTSD. Additional research is needed to examine constructs related to social support and PTSD, such as emotional hiding, in order to identify areas for intervention.

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