combat as their most traumatic experience, and 42% of the 96 met the criteria for PTSD at some time in their lives. PTSD was diagnosed with the DIS or Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Following combat, the trauma next-most likely to result in PTSD was ever having been raped or sexually molested. Men with combat trauma were the most likely to be divorced (39%) or to be physically abusive to their spouses (15%).

The association between PTSD and parenting satisfaction was explored by Samper et al. (2004), who assessed a sample of 250 male Vietnam veterans, part of the NVVRS cohort, for depression, intimate partner violence, PTSD, and parenting satisfaction. Results indicated that the PTSD severity and symptoms of numbness and avoidance were significantly negatively associated with parenting satisfaction.

Reports on a clinical sample of 270 Australian Vietnam veterans suffering with chronic PTSD showed the influences of PTSD-related symptoms on family functioning (Evans et al. 2003). In particular, PTSD symptoms of avoidance, affect dysregulation, and heightened anger led to more dissension in families of veterans with PTSD. Veterans reported that their avoidance behavior contributed to poor family functioning, and the arousal symptoms of PTSD were associated with angry reactions that also adversely affected family functioning.

The perceptions of 951 U.S. Army male and female peacekeepers deployed to Bosnia were queried by Newby et al. (2005). Although most of the soldiers (77%) reported favorable consequences of their deployment, married soldiers were more than twice as likely as single soldiers to report adverse consequences, primarily being away from family and missing important events.

Intimate Partner Violence

To define intimate partner violence, the committee considered the definition developed by the DoD Task Force on Domestic Violence (DoD 2004):

  • A pattern of behavior resulting in emotional or psychologic abuse, economic control, and/or interference with personal liberty and that is directed toward a current or former spouse, a person with whom the abuser shares a child in common; or a current or former intimate partner.

  • The use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force, violence, a deadly weapon, sexual assault, or the intentional destruction of property.

  • Behavior that has the intent or impact of placing a victim in fear of physical injury.

Most intimate partner violence involves perpetration of violence by men against women. Findings of past-year prevalence in the general U.S. population vary from 0.5% in the 2001 National Crime Victimization Survey to 11.6% in the 1985 National Family Violence Re-Survey; the prevalence of severe violence was estimated to be 3.4% in the latter survey. Surveys that are based on crime statistics and criminal-offense records tend to yield a lower prevalence of intimate partner violence because the report of offenses is voluntary, whereas national surveys of randomly selected couples are generally more accurate and yield a higher prevalence if such instruments as the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) are used (Clark et al. 2006). The CTS is an 18-item self-report inventory that assesses conflict tactics as functional (for example, calmly discussing a problem), verbally abusive, or physically abusive.

Heyman and Neidig (1999) addressed the prevalence of intimate partner violence in the U.S. Army (n = 33,762) and the general population (n = 3044) and found a higher prevalence of severe husband-against-wife violence in the military population than in the general population

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement