Two Perspectives on Accommodation of PTSD Symptoms: Partners Versus Service Members

Jessica J. Kenny, Elizabeth Allen, Keith Renshaw, Arjun Bhalla, Steffany J. Fredman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

When military service members (SMs) experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), intimate partners may respond by accommodating these symptoms. Although prior research has found that this type of accommodation, as self-reported by the partner, is associated with individual and relationship distress for both members of the intimate dyad, little is known about how SMs directly perceive the frequency of partner accommodation and the distress they experience regarding this accommodation relative to the reports from the accommodating partner. The present study examined SMs’ perceptions of partner accommodation of SM PTSD symptoms and partner self-report of accommodation of SM PTSD symptoms in a nontreatment-seeking sample of 259 Army couples consisting of a male SM and a female civilian partner. Both partner and SM reports of partner accommodation were significantly and positively related to SM PTSD symptom severity and both SM and partner depressive symptoms and hostility and were significantly and negatively related to both SM and partner marital satisfaction. When considering the average frequency of partner accommodation of SM PTSD symptoms, SM reports and partner reports evidenced general agreement. In contrast, partners reported being more distressed, on average, about their accommodation than SMs were about the partners’ accommodation. Clinical implications of the findings and the utility of cross-informant perceptions of partner accommodation in clinical and research settings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-289
Number of pages17
JournalCouple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 19 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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