Comparing lifespan and life course perspectives on combat exposure and PTSD symptoms in later life : findings from the normative aging study Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/p8418r16m

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  • We examined how the experiences of World War II and Korean War veterans, including prewar, warzone, and postwar factors, affected PTSD symptoms in later life. This dissertation consists of two studies. In Study 1, four different hypotheses from a lifespan approach were examined (King et al., 1996): stress evaporation (only childhood experiences are important); residual stress (only warzone experiences are important); stress vulnerability (childhood and warzone experiences interact); and main effects (independent contribution) hypotheses. The main effects hypothesis was supported: we found independent contributions of prewar, warzone, and postwar factors in predicting PTSD symptoms. However, there was stronger evidence for the stress vulnerability hypothesis, given that cohesive and conflictual childhood family environments, age at entry, negative homecoming, and additional stressful life events moderated the relationship between combat exposure and PTSD symptoms. Cohesive early childhoods mitigated the effects of combat exposure on PTSD symptoms, while the other variables increased the effects. The results supported King et al.'s (1996) previous research, but extended it by testing the vulnerability hypothesis, and identifying protective as well as risk factors. In Study 2, we contrasted the utility of the continuity and discontinuity hypotheses from life course theory in modeling the impact of military service during war on PTSD symptoms in later life. From the discontinuity perspective (Elder & Shanahan, 2006), both positive turning points (difficult early childhood but positive military service appraisals leading to fewer PTSD symptoms) and life course disruption hypotheses (positive childhood but negative military service appraisals leading to more PTSD symptoms) were partially supported. Positive turning points were seen only in veterans who entered military service at an early age, whereas life course disruption was seen regardless of age at entry but primarily among those with conflictual childhood environments. Structural equation models found evidence for the cumulative advantage as well as cumulative disadvantage hypotheses, reflecting a continuity perspective (London & Wilmoth, 2006), but the timing of military service was not a significant factor in continuity hypothesis. This dissertation provided evidence for the utility of both lifespan and life course approaches to understanding the effects of military service in late life.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-09-22T18:58:16Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Dissertation_Final_Print(Aug30_10).pdf: 721964 bytes, checksum: e042012a33af2c96eca1d9ef69ef0233 (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-09-22T21:59:09Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Dissertation_Final_Print(Aug30_10).pdf: 721964 bytes, checksum: e042012a33af2c96eca1d9ef69ef0233 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Sungrok Kang (kangsun@onid.orst.edu) on 2010-08-29T23:38:53Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Dissertation_Final_Print(Aug30_10).pdf: 721964 bytes, checksum: e042012a33af2c96eca1d9ef69ef0233 (MD5)

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