Military Mental Health: The Role of Daily Hassles While Deployed


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Abstract

This study sought to identify factors contributing to symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in recently deployed combat veterans. A sample of 168 active duty military personnel completed measures of combat exposure, deployment-related daily hassles, depression symptoms, and PTSD symptoms at six time points across their deployment: predeployment and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postdeployment. Mixed-effects linear modeling with repeated measures was used to identify factors associated with depression and PTSD severity over time. Postdeployment depression severity did not change over time, but PTSD severity decreased slightly over time after returning home. Postdeployment depression severity was predicted by past (but not recent) combat exposure, daily hassles, and concurrent PTSD symptoms. Postdeployment PTSD severity was predicted by past and recent combat exposure, concurrent depression symptoms, and male sex. Depression severity mediated the relationship between daily hassles and postdeployment PTSD severity.

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