Coping and Recovery Styles in the Vietnam Era Prisoner of War

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Abstract

Of the nearly 600 Vietnam War American prisoners of war (POWs), 332 were United States Air Force flyers who had suffered maltreatment, confinement, and boredom for months to years. We examined four coping styles of USAF POWs related to successful/ unsuccessful coping and resistance stance during captivity and cognitive integration of the prisoner experience after repatriation. Findings indicate that no coping style is clearly associated with an increased risk of postrepatriation psychiatric morbidity. Postrepatriation MMPI scales indicate personality differences between individuals in the various coping groups.

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