Subjective age, PTSD and physical health among war veterans

Zahava Solomon, Hedva Helvitz, Gadi Zerach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the contribution of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical health to subjective age among war veterans. Method: The sample included 502 veterans of the first Lebanon War who were assessed 20 years after the war by a series of self-report questionnaires. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, hierarchical and logistic regressions. Results: Veterans with PTSD reported older subjective age than veterans without PTSD. Furthermore, both PTSD and general physical health contributed to subjective age, above and beyond chronological age and negative life events. Among the physical health problems, memory problems and weight gain were found to contribute to older age identity. In addition, the relation between general physical health and subjective age was stronger among veterans without PTSD than among veterans with PTSD. Discussion: Possible explanations, clinical implications for integrative therapy for elderly PTSD victims, and recommendations for future research are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • PTSD
  • Physical health
  • Subjective age
  • War


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