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Unwanted sexual experiences and retraumatization: Predictors of mental health concerns in veterans.
Psychol Trauma. 2019 Nov; 11(8):886-894.PT

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Repeated exposure to traumatic events has consistently been shown to negatively impact mental health functioning; however, the role of timing of such events has received less attention. The present study evaluated the role of trauma that has occurred prior to military service, during service, and across both points in contributing to the most common and deleterious mental health concerns experienced by military personnel: posttraumatic stress, depression, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts.

METHOD

Utah and Idaho National Guard personnel (n = 997) completed online self-report questionnaires of their current posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms, as well as history of potentially traumatic experiences, suicidal thoughts, and actions.

RESULTS

Results indicated that history of trauma across time points is associated with negative outcomes across each of these outcomes, with the exception of suicide attempts. Exploratory analyses further revealed that unwanted or uncomfortable sexual experiences (not sexual assault) is the most robust predictor of negative outcomes, with approximately 2 to 7.5 times increased risk for PTSD, depression, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts.

CONCLUSIONS

The present findings suggest that individuals with history of trauma prior to military service are at increased risk for developing clinically significant mental health problems if exposed to additional potentially traumatic experiences. Further, other unwanted sexual experiences appear to be particularly detrimental to mental health functioning. Potential implications for military recruitment and conceptualization of traumatic events are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Authors+Show Affiliations

National Center for Veterans Studies.National Center for Veterans Studies.National Center for Veterans Studies.National Center for Veterans Studies.National Center for Veterans Studies.National Center for Veterans Studies.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

30869954

Citation

Roberge, Erika M., et al. "Unwanted Sexual Experiences and Retraumatization: Predictors of Mental Health Concerns in Veterans." Psychological Trauma : Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, vol. 11, no. 8, 2019, pp. 886-894.
Roberge EM, Haddock LA, Oakey-Frost DN, et al. Unwanted sexual experiences and retraumatization: Predictors of mental health concerns in veterans. Psychol Trauma. 2019;11(8):886-894.
Roberge, E. M., Haddock, L. A., Oakey-Frost, D. N., Hinkson, K. D., Bryan, A. O., & Bryan, C. J. (2019). Unwanted sexual experiences and retraumatization: Predictors of mental health concerns in veterans. Psychological Trauma : Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, 11(8), 886-894. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000445
Roberge EM, et al. Unwanted Sexual Experiences and Retraumatization: Predictors of Mental Health Concerns in Veterans. Psychol Trauma. 2019;11(8):886-894. PubMed PMID: 30869954.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Unwanted sexual experiences and retraumatization: Predictors of mental health concerns in veterans. AU - Roberge,Erika M, AU - Haddock,Leslie A, AU - Oakey-Frost,D Nicolas, AU - Hinkson,Kent D, AU - Bryan,AnnaBelle O, AU - Bryan,Craig J, Y1 - 2019/03/14/ PY - 2019/3/15/pubmed PY - 2020/3/24/medline PY - 2019/3/15/entrez SP - 886 EP - 894 JF - Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy JO - Psychol Trauma VL - 11 IS - 8 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Repeated exposure to traumatic events has consistently been shown to negatively impact mental health functioning; however, the role of timing of such events has received less attention. The present study evaluated the role of trauma that has occurred prior to military service, during service, and across both points in contributing to the most common and deleterious mental health concerns experienced by military personnel: posttraumatic stress, depression, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts. METHOD: Utah and Idaho National Guard personnel (n = 997) completed online self-report questionnaires of their current posttraumatic stress and depression symptoms, as well as history of potentially traumatic experiences, suicidal thoughts, and actions. RESULTS: Results indicated that history of trauma across time points is associated with negative outcomes across each of these outcomes, with the exception of suicide attempts. Exploratory analyses further revealed that unwanted or uncomfortable sexual experiences (not sexual assault) is the most robust predictor of negative outcomes, with approximately 2 to 7.5 times increased risk for PTSD, depression, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggest that individuals with history of trauma prior to military service are at increased risk for developing clinically significant mental health problems if exposed to additional potentially traumatic experiences. Further, other unwanted sexual experiences appear to be particularly detrimental to mental health functioning. Potential implications for military recruitment and conceptualization of traumatic events are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved). SN - 1942-969X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/30869954/Unwanted_sexual_experiences_and_retraumatization:_Predictors_of_mental_health_concerns_in_veterans_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/tra/11/8/886 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -