Impact of Combat Deployment on Psychological and Relationship Health

A Longitudinal Study

Jeffrey A. Cigrang, G. Wayne Talcott, Jolyn Tatum, Monty Baker, Daniel Cassidy, Scott Sonnek, Douglas K. Snyder, Christina Balderrama-Durbin, Richard Heyman, Amy Slep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although previous research has indicated an elevated prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems among veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom following deployment, most of this research has been cross-sectional and has focused on a limited range of military groups and outcome criteria. This investigation was a longitudinal study of U.S. Air Force security forces assigned to a year-long high-threat ground mission in Iraq to determine the degree to which airmen's emotional and behavioral health and committed relationships were adversely impacted by an extended deployment to a warzone. Participants were a cohort of 164 security forces airmen tasked to a 365-day deployment to train Iraqi police. Airmen completed study measures both prior to and 6-9 months following deployment. Rates of deterioration in individual and interpersonal adjustment were both significant and medium to large in magnitude of effect, d = 0.43 to 0.90. Results suggest that the negative effects of deployment are related to levels of traumatic experiences and do not spontaneously remit within the first 6-9 months following return from deployment-particularly among those service members having relatively lower levels of social support. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Fingerprint

2003-2011 Iraq War
Longitudinal Studies
Psychology
Social Adjustment
Iraq
Public Sector
Health
Police
Veterans
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Research
Social Support
Mental Health
Air

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Impact of Combat Deployment on Psychological and Relationship Health : A Longitudinal Study. / Cigrang, Jeffrey A.; Wayne Talcott, G.; Tatum, Jolyn; Baker, Monty; Cassidy, Daniel; Sonnek, Scott; Snyder, Douglas K.; Balderrama-Durbin, Christina; Heyman, Richard; Slep, Amy.

In: Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 27, No. 1, 02.2014, p. 58-65.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cigrang, JA, Wayne Talcott, G, Tatum, J, Baker, M, Cassidy, D, Sonnek, S, Snyder, DK, Balderrama-Durbin, C, Heyman, R & Slep, A 2014, 'Impact of Combat Deployment on Psychological and Relationship Health: A Longitudinal Study', Journal of Traumatic Stress, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 58-65. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.21890
Cigrang JA, Wayne Talcott G, Tatum J, Baker M, Cassidy D, Sonnek S et al. Impact of Combat Deployment on Psychological and Relationship Health: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2014 Feb;27(1):58-65. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.21890
Cigrang, Jeffrey A. ; Wayne Talcott, G. ; Tatum, Jolyn ; Baker, Monty ; Cassidy, Daniel ; Sonnek, Scott ; Snyder, Douglas K. ; Balderrama-Durbin, Christina ; Heyman, Richard ; Slep, Amy. / Impact of Combat Deployment on Psychological and Relationship Health : A Longitudinal Study. In: Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2014 ; Vol. 27, No. 1. pp. 58-65.
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