Individual, Family, and Community Predictors of PTSD Symptoms Following Military Deployment

Jonathan R. Olson, Janet A. Welsh, Daniel F. Perkins, La Juana Ormsby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Using an ecological resilience model, we sought to identify protective factors that buffer against the effects of stressful deployment-related experiences on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among active duty U.S. Air Force personnel who were married or in a committed relationship. Background: Stressful deployment experiences are associated with PTSD symptoms among active duty military personnel. However, certain protective factors may buffer against negative effects of such experiences. Method: Analyses for the present study were active duty military personnel who completed the 2011 Air Force Community Assessment Survey, were married or in a committed relationship, and had completed at least one deployment at the time of the survey (N = 12,166). Results: Regression analyses indicated that stressful deployment experiences were statistically related to elevated PTSD symptoms but also that both personal and contextual factors moderated those symptoms. Furthermore, self-efficacy, family coping, spouse/partner support, financial resources, and religious participation moderated the relation between stressful deployment experiences and PTSD symptoms. Conclusion: PTSD symptoms were positively associated with stressful deployment experiences, and symptoms were less likely to occur when service members experienced support from individual, family, and community sources. Implications: Interventions that promote self-efficacy and social support from multiple ecological contexts may help reduce PTSD symptoms among combat-exposed Air Force personnel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-629
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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