Military trauma and its sequel in families of Bedouin servicemen

Ortal Slobodin, Yael Caspi, Ehud Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Posttraumatic responses of veterans have an adverse impact on the family unit. These impacts include a variety of psychiatric, emotional, and behavioral problems in the veteran's partner and children. Despite the increased attention given today to the central role of the family in the aftermath of trauma, studies in families of non-Western minority servicemen almost do not exist. The current study examined the associations between veterans’ posttraumatic symptoms and familial distress in an ethnic minority sample of 112 families of Bedouin members of the Israeli Defense Forces. Specifically, we have studied the relationship between the men's posttraumatic symptoms, wife's psychological symptoms, and maternal reports about children's wellbeing. Results showed that while fathers’ posttraumatic symptoms were related to their wives’ psychological distress, they were not related to maternal reports about children's problems. However, mothers with higher levels of depression and anxiety tended to report more emotional and behavioral problems of their children. This study sheds light on the various trajectories by which military trauma affects different family members in a traditional, non-clinical population, and emphasizes the need to address trauma from a systemic perspective that goes beyond the individualistic approach to posttraumatic stress disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-395
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Culture and Mental Health
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bedouin
  • ethnic minority
  • family
  • military
  • trauma

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