Sunday, February 24, 2013

Secondary Research: PTSD

I chose to do my secondary research on PTSD as a complementary source for information on the effects of traumatic experiences on the psychological health of veterans of the Vietnam War. The article is titled Findings from the National Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Study, posted in January of 2007, and focuses on the findings of the comprehensive study mentioned in the title, abbreviated as (NWRS). Being associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs gives this article credibility as a source. Jennifer L. Price, PhD, also has credibility as a source, having worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a project manager of a case study and as a consultant for the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist and currently a professor and Department Chair for the Department of Psychology at Georgetown College in Kentucky.

Dr. Prince's article provides us with significant statistics on the range of soldiers that are afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the varying circumstances that lead to increased frequencies of PTSD. Prince writes, " estimated 15.2% of male and 8.5% of female Vietnam theater Veterans met criteria for current PTSD. Those with high levels of war-zone exposure had significantly higher rates, with 35.8% of men and 17.5% of women meeting criteria for current PTSD" (qtd. in Schlenger et al., 1992).

The study also addresses non-PTSD symptoms that are less severe but more prevalent, including: alcohol abuse/dependency, depression, anxiety, antisocial personality disorders, and readjustment difficulties (occupational instability, marital and familial strife).

Overall it seems to be a very good study that is full of statistics that might be useful in making an argument for the overall impact of PTSD and other trauma related issues on veterans of the Vietnam War.

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