Steven Stellman - Enduring social and behavioral effects of exposure to military combat in vietnam

Document created by Steven Stellman on Dec 1, 2016
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  Stellman, S., Stellman, J., Koenen, K. 10 (7) 480-

  Abstract: PURPOSE: To assess current social and   behavioral outcomes among Vietnam veterans up to 35 years after   exposure to military combat.METHODS: A cohort of 1,315 American   Legion members whose combat experiences were assessed with a   standard quantitative measure in 1984 were followed-up through   1998 for current health and psychosocial status. Another 2,260   Legionnaires who served outside Vietnam during the same period   were used as a comparison group. Outcomes included smoking and   drinking habits as health risk indicators, income, measures of   marital and general happiness and life satisfaction, and the   Columbia Univerity PERI (Psychiatric Epidemiology Research   Instrument) scales for psychological well-being: anxiety,   depression, helplessness/hopelessness, anger and irritation, and   physical symptoms of depression. Combat intensity was classified   as high, medium, and low.RESULTS: Income was significantly lower   in the high-combat group by $4,000 per year compared to the low-   and medium-combat groups and the non-Southeast Asia veterans,   whose incomes were similar to each other. Marital happiness, life   happiness, general life satisfaction, decreased with increasing   combat, while smoking prevalence increased with combat score. The   PERI scale components were strongly dose-related to combat   intensity. Furthermore, the anger/irritation score for the   low-combat group was significantly higher than for the non-SEA   group.CONCLUSIONS: Although practically all veterans in this   study last saw combat prior to 1971, the detrimental effects of   having experienced combat which were strongly apparent when this   group was surveyed in the 1980s continue to exert an adverse   effect on many aspects of their lives almost three decades after   the war.

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