Marital intimacy, family support, and secondary traumatization: A study of wives of veterans with combat stress reaction

Mario Mikulincer, Victor Florian, Zahava Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The main aim of the study was to assess the role of family variables in the process of secondary traumatization among wives of post-traumatic veterans. We compared a sample of 49 wives of Israeli veterans with combat stress reaction (CSR) from the 1982 Lebanon War with a sample of 31 wives of Israeli veterans who fought in the war without developing CSR. We assessed their psychological reactions to the war, their health status six years later, and their reported levels of marital intimacy and family support after the war. When compared with controls, wives of veterans with CSR reported more negative emotions and lower perceived intimacy after the war, and greater severity of psychiatric and somatic symptoms six years later. Results also indicate that the greater the perceived marital intimacy, the less the negative emotions wives of veterans with CSR felt after the war and the better their health status six years later. In addition, wives of veterans with CSR who reported having received more support from their families after the war reported more anxiety and hostility than wives who received less support. The roles of marital intimacy and family support in the process of secondary traumatization were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Traumatization
  • combat
  • intimacy
  • social support
  • stress

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