The relationship of PTSD in Vietnam veterans to family dysfunction as mediated by marital functioning: A structural model

Catherine A Mora, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

This study evaluated selected psychosocial correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Vietnam veterans, marital functioning, and family dysfunction within the context of Rosenheck and Thomson's (1986) theory of PTSD family dysfunction. It was hypothesized that the relationship between PTSD in the Vietnam veteran and family dysfunction would be mediated by marital functioning constructs (partner support, marital adjustment, and partner dysfunction). The hypothesized relationships between PTSD in the Vietnam veteran, three marital functioning constructs, and family dysfunction were examined using structural modeling techniques with two samples: 114 PTSD Vietnam veterans and their partners. The originally proposed measurement and structural models were identical for both samples. The independent construct was PTSD, the three marital functioning constructs served as mediating constructs, and family dysfunction was the dependent construct. Results of the original measurement models indicated that partner support and marital adjustment were collinearly related in both the veteran and partner models. The results indicated that these constructs worked best if they were collapsed to comprise a single construct, partner support/marital functioning, in the veteran model, and that the construct of partner support needed to be eliminated entirely from the partner model. These adjustments did not preclude the testing of the original hypotheses of the study.^ The results of the overall model fit for the veteran and partner final structural models were consistent with hypotheses of the study and with Rosenheck and Thomson's (1986) theory. In terms of individual pathways, the marital functioning constructs partner support/marital adjustment was a strong mediating construct between the constructs PTSD and family dysfunction in the veteran model. Most of the variance in the veteran model was explained by the partner support/marital adjustment construct. PTSD was indirectly related to family dysfunction in the veteran model. In the partner model, the marital adjustment construct mediated the relationship between PTSD in the veteran and family dysfunction and accounted for most of the variance in the model.^ Overall findings suggest that marital functioning constructs do mediate the impact of PTSD in the Vietnam veteran on family dysfunction. Implications are that assessment and treatment of marital functioning is paramount when treating Vietnam veterans. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Catherine A Mora, "The relationship of PTSD in Vietnam veterans to family dysfunction as mediated by marital functioning: A structural model" (1992). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9239581.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI9239581

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