A Mediational Model of PTSD in World War II Veterans Exposed to Mustard Gas
Format of Original
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine associations among trauma-related-contextual factors, initial psychological reactions, social support, and subsequent disclosure on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in a sample of World War II (WWII) veterans exposed to mustard gas (N = 305). A structural model suggested that initial psychological reaction mediated the relationship between variables related to the context of mustard gas exposure and severity of PTSD symptoms 50 years later. Unexpectedly, social support appeared to be positively related to PTSD symptoms, and not related to the contextual variables or initial psychological reactions. These findings contribute to our understanding of PTSD in older veterans, and have relevance for early intervention services to prevent PTSD among those at risk for exposure to toxic agents.