Military Sexual Trauma and Risky Behaviors: A Systematic Review
Date of Original Version
Introduction: Military sexual trauma (MST) is a serious and pervasive problem among military men and women. Recent findings have linked MST with various negative outcomes including risky, self-destructive, and health-compromising behaviors. Objective: The current review summarizes the existing literature on the association between MST and risky behaviors among military men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Method: We systematically searched five electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, PSYCINFO, PILOTS, and CINAHL Plus) using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Results: Of the initial 2,021 articles, 47 met the inclusion criteria. Reviewed studies revealed three patterns of findings: (1) largely studied and consistent (i.e., suicidal behaviors, disordered eating), (2) mixed and in need of future research (i.e., alcohol and drug use, smoking), and (3) underexamined (i.e., sexual behaviors, illegal/aggressive behaviors) or completely neglected (e.g., problematic technology use, gambling). Discussion: The current systematic review advances literature by providing strong support for an association between MST and a wide range of risky behaviors. Moreover, it highlights important areas for future research.
Trauma, Violence, and Abuse
Forkus, Shannon R., Nicole H. Weiss, Svetlana Goncharenko, Joseph Mammay, Michael Church, and Ateka A. Contractor. "Military Sexual Trauma and Risky Behaviors: A Systematic Review." Trauma, Violence, and Abuse 22, 4 (2021): 976-993. doi:10.1177/1524838019897338.