Race, Gender, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the U.S. Military?

TitleRace, Gender, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the U.S. Military?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMustillo, Sarah A., and Ashleigh Kysar-Moon
JournalArmed Forces & Society
Issue2 (Special Issue: Women in the Military)
Pagination322 - 345
Date Published06/2016

U.S. service women were exposed to more combat-related trauma in recent wars compared to prior conflicts and consequently faced an increased risk of trauma-related mental health outcomes. This study examines gender by race differences in self-reported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and clinician diagnoses in a large sample of U.S. Black and White service men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, to determine whether women overall and Black women in particular are at an increased risk of PTSD compared to Black and White men. Using three PTSD measures—two symptom-based measures assessed at different times and one diagnosis measure—we found more traumatic combat exposures were associated with higher PTSD risk for service women compared to service men, but there was no additional increase in risk of PTSD for Black females. [publisher]

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