Mental Health Over Time in a Military Sample: The Impact of Alcohol Use Disorder on Trajectories of Psychopathology After Deployment
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To identify trajectories of depression and posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptom groups after deployment and determine the effect of alcohol use disorder on these trajectories, depression symptoms were modeled using the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire in 727 Ohio National Guard members, and PTS symptoms were modeled using the PTSD Checklist in 472 Ohio National Guard members. There were 55.8% who were resistant to depression symptoms across the 4 years of study, and 41.5% who were resistant to PTS symptoms. There were 18.7% and 42.2% of participants who showed resilience (experiencing slightly elevated symptoms followed by a decline, according to Bonanno et al., 2002) to depression and PTS symptoms, respectively. Mild and chronic dysfunction constituted the smallest trajectory groups across disorders. Marital status, deployment to an area of conflict, and number of lifetime stressors were associated with membership into different latent groups for depression (unstandardized β estimates range = 0.69 to 1.37). Deployment to an area of conflict, number of lifetime traumatic events and education predicted membership into different latent groups for PTS (significant unstandardized β estimate range = 0.83 to 3.17). AUD was associated with an increase in both symptom outcomes (significant unstandardized β estimate range = 0.20 to 9.45). These results suggested that alcohol use disorder may have contributed substantially to trajectories of psychopathology in this population.
author list (cited authors)
Sampson, L., Cohen, G. H., Calabrese, J. R., Fink, D. S., Tamburrino, M., Liberzon, I., Chan, P., & Galea, S.