The Relationships Among Premilitary Vocational Aptitude Assessment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Postdeployment Cognitive Functioning in Combat Veterans†

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans is frequently associated with a variety of complaints, including cognitive problems and posttraumatic stress disorder. In this study, the authors explored the predictive impact of premilitary cognitive abilities on postdeployment cognitive functioning, as mitigated by posttraumatic stress symptoms in a sample of veterans with and without history of TBI. Measures included clinical interview, neuropsychological tests, the PTSD Checklist-Military Version, and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. In contrast to history of TBI, premilitary abilities and posttraumatic stress symptoms emerged as significant predictors of postdeployment cognitive deficits.

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