Posttraumatic stress disorder: The etiologic specificity of wartime stressors

  • Breslau N
  • Davis G
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Abstract

Examined the effects of wartime stressors in 69 Vietnam veterans (aged 30–45 yrs), who were psychiatric inpatients in a Veterans Administration hospital. Participation in atrocities and the cumulative exposure to combat stressors, each independently of the other, conferred a significant risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In contrast, the effect of these war experiences on the onset of panic, major depression, and mania was not significant. Results indicate that extreme stressors are uniquely linked with the characteristic cluster of symptoms of PTSD but challenge the implicit assumption of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) criteria that the reexperienced trauma is the stressor responsible for PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • N. Breslau

  • G. C. Davis

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