Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in Korean conflict and World War II combat veterans seeking outpatient treatment

E W McCranie, L A Hyer
Journal of Traumatic Stress 2000, 13 (3): 427-39
Given important differences in the Korean conflict and World War II, samples of treatment-seeking combat veterans from these wars (30 Korea, 83 World War II) were compared on the prevalence and severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With age, ethnicity, and combat exposure taken into account, the Korean veterans reported significantly more severe symptoms on both interview and self-report PTSD measures. Group differences in the prevalence of current PTSD were in a similar direction but not significant. These results are generally consistent with other studies that have found Korean combat veterans to exhibit higher rates of psychosocial maladjustment than World War II combat veterans. Based on related research with Vietnam veterans, one direction for future investigation is to examine what role stressful postmilitary homecoming experiences may have played in influencing the development and course of combat-related PTSD in the aging cohort of "forgotten" Korean conflict veterans.

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