Posttraumatic stress and intimate partner relationship functioning: An examination of couple distress and the interrelation of symptomology

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dc.contributor.supervisor Mignone, Javier (Family Social Sciences) en_US
dc.contributor.author Weavers, Melissa D M
dc.date.accessioned 2014-09-05T13:59:18Z
dc.date.available 2014-09-05T13:59:18Z
dc.date.issued 2014-09-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1993/23975
dc.description.abstract Veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress (PTSD), compared to relative trauma-exposed veterans without PTSD, have more serious relationship problems. Research in the area of combat trauma-related symptoms and intimate partner relationships have to-date, mostly focused on identifying the negative outcomes of trauma but have not elaborated on how the symptoms themselves act as agents in negative relationship functioning. The purpose of this study was to identify a relationship between combat-related PTSD symptoms of insomnia/sleep dysfunction, avoidance/emotional numbing, and intimate partner distress - specifically the mechanisms by which symptoms and distress are maintained or exacerbated. A review of combat trauma and relationship theories indicated that a newly applied theory, Conservation of Resources (COR) could account for specific combat trauma symptomology, the effects of non-PTSD intimate partners’ distress, and the course of these aspects. This study predominately utilized quantitative data for exploratory correlational research. One hundred and fifteen Canadian combat veterans completed self-administered questionnaires that included demographic characteristics, supplementary questions and the study variables: PTSD assessment, dyadic adjustment, and sleep issues. Results indicated that PTSD overall is negatively related to dyadic adjustment, and that avoidance symptoms represent the most detrimental cluster of PTSD in terms of relationship functioning. Although insomnia/sleep dysfunction was not correlated to dyadic adjustment for those with PTSD, it was identified as a contributor to negative relationship functioning through supplementary responses. The study suggests a revised Canadian PTSD prevalence rate of 29%, which is noteworthy when compared to the previous PTSD prevalence rate estimation of 10%. The application of COR theory to combat veterans and relationship functioning is supported by the results of this study. Findings of this study can aid clinicians in the enhancement of couple therapies, draw attention to the need for improved deployment screening and care provisions for military members, and contribute to the breadth of empirical literature. en_US
dc.subject PTSD en_US
dc.subject Canadian Forces en_US
dc.subject Posttraumatic Stress Disorder en_US
dc.subject Intimate Partner en_US
dc.subject Intimate Partner Distress en_US
dc.subject Relationship Functioning en_US
dc.subject Insomnia en_US
dc.subject Sleep Dysfunction en_US
dc.subject combat veterans en_US
dc.subject military en_US
dc.subject emotional numbing en_US
dc.subject avoidance en_US
dc.title Posttraumatic stress and intimate partner relationship functioning: An examination of couple distress and the interrelation of symptomology en_US
dc.degree.discipline Family Social Sciences en_US
dc.contributor.examiningcommittee Piotrowski, Caroline (Family Social Sciences) Campbell, Darren (Psychology) en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Science (M.Sc.) en_US
dc.description.note October 2014 en_US

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