Toward an Integrated Theoretical Model of Risk Factors for Post-Deployment PTSD and its Implications for Justice-Involved Veterans

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Abstract

At present, very little knowledge exists about individual differences in susceptibility to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after combat trauma. Two differing perspectives have emerged. Some researchers maintain that a distinct linear dose-response relationship exists between the severity of combat trauma and the later development of PTSD. Conversely, others have questioned whether differential exposure to combat alone is sufficient to explain differences in the prevalence of post-deployment PTSD. This debate has implications for military veteran offenders who suffer from PTSD. In this paper, I propose a cumulative stress model that posits that it is the particular combination of psychosocial factors and combat exposure that interact to predict the likelihood of developing and maintaining PTSD after deployment. Therefore, PTSD influences post-deployment offending and antisocial behavior through this mechanism. Finally, this paper will discuss implications for criminal justice policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-706
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Aug 2012

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • antisocial behaviour
  • veterans
  • individual differences
  • sensitisation
  • antisocial behavior

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