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Combat Experiences, Personality, Iso-Strain, and Sleep Quality Affect Posttraumatic Stress Among Working Post-9/11 Veterans
Student Research Symposium
  • Gilbert Patrick Brady, Jr., Portland State University
  • Leslie B. Hammer, Portland State University
  • Olivia C. Preston, Portland State University
  • Anna K. Nishen, Portland State University
Portland State University
Start Date
4-5-2016 12:00 PM
End Date
4-5-2016 2:00 PM
  • Work environment -- Psychological aspects,
  • Sleep -- Research,
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • Veterans -- Psychology
We investigated the effects of combat experiences (CES), personality traits, sleep quality and iso-strain on posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among a sample (N=382) of working, post-9/11 Veterans. As prior occupational stress research has neglected the role of personality traits, we sought to examine how two of the Big Five traits (i.e., Neuroticism and Conscientiousness) affected PTSS. Greater scientific understanding of how personality contributes to the post-deployment etiology of PTSD may help customize interventions aimed at reintegrating Veterans. Baseline data were drawn from the five-year, randomized control, Department of Defense-funded “Study for Employment Retention of Veterans” (SERVe). After controlling for socioeconomic status, time since deployment (“dwell time”), and risk of homelessness, results indicated that CES and sleep quality were significant predictors of PTSS. However, while Neuroticism predicted PTSS severity, Contentiousness was unrelated. While no inferences of causality may be drawn from our cross-sectional sample, results suggest that personality traits may differentially affect PTSS. Further, negative emotions may play a stronger role than positive emotions in predicting severity of PTSS. To disentangle the potential confounding influence of trauma on personality traits and establish temporal precedence for drawing causal inferences, future research should use longitudinal, repeat-measure designs that estimate baseline personality levels prior to exposure to combat. Such an longitudinal approach would allow for a better understanding of the potential differential effects of personality on post-deployment acquisition of PTSD among reintegrating Veterans.

Research support by the Department of Defense, PI Hammer: #W81XWH-13-2-0020

Persistent Identifier
Citation Information
Gilbert Patrick Brady, Leslie B. Hammer, Olivia C. Preston and Anna K. Nishen. "Combat Experiences, Personality, Iso-Strain, and Sleep Quality Affect Posttraumatic Stress Among Working Post-9/11 Veterans" (2016)
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