Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Bradley A. Green

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Randolph C. Arnau

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Richard S. Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. Michael D. Anestis

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Abstract

PTSD in military personnel is highly prevalent and accompanied by elevated rates of additional issues such as depression, problematic alcohol use, and interpersonal relationship problems. Family members and spouses of military personnel have also been shown to be negatively impacted by PTSD symptoms. Previous research has indicated that family members and spouses’ expressed emotion regarding the PTSD patients’ symptoms negatively impacts treatment outcome in civilian populations. However, studies have yet to investigate the effect of expressed emotion on the course of PTSD symptoms and associated problems in military personnel. Therefore, the purpose of the present investigation was to examine the impact of collateral reporter expressed emotion and relationship satisfaction on salient empirically indicated correlates of PTSD in military personnel, including PTSD symptoms themselves, depression, and alcohol use. A total of 821 soldiers (female n = 145) and 45 collateral reporters (female n = 15) participated in the baseline assessment time point of the study. In addition to the baseline assessment time point, participants completed measures at 6-month follow up. Separate hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the association of soldier PTSD symptoms, depression, and alcohol use with expressed emotion and relationship satisfaction. Implications of these findings may highlight particular targets for development of innovative interventions aimed at treating and/or preventing negative outcomes in military personnel as well as their significant others.

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