The Relationships Between Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Clusters and Marital Intimacy Among War Veterans

Zahava Solomon, Rachel Dekel, Gadi Zerach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined (a) the relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters and marital intimacy among Israeli war veterans and (b) the role of self-disclosure and verbal violence in mediating the effects of PTSD avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms on marital intimacy. The sample consisted of 219 participants divided into 2 groups: ex-prisoners of war (ex-POWs; N = 125) and a comparison group of veterans who fought in the same war but were not held in captivity (N = 94). Ex-POWs displayed higher levels of PTSD symptoms and verbal violence and lower levels of self-disclosure than did controls. Although ex-POWs and controls did not differ in level of marital intimacy, they did, however, present a different pattern of relationships between PTSD clusters and intimacy. In ex-POWs, self-disclosure mediated the relations between PTSD avoidance and marital intimacy. Verbal aggression was also found via indirect effect of hyperarousal on marital intimacy. The results point to the importance of self-disclosure and verbal violence as interpersonal mechanisms for the relations between posttraumatic symptoms on marital intimacy of ex-POWs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-666
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • POWs
  • PTSD
  • marital intimacy
  • self-disclosure
  • verbal violence

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