The contribution of loneliness and posttraumatic stress disorder to marital adjustment following war captivity: A longitudinal study

Zahava Solomon, Rachel Dekel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This prospective study examined the relative contribution of loneliness and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to marital adjustment among Israeli veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Specifically, we examined the mediating role of loneliness as measured in 1991 in the association between PTSD as measured in 1991 and marital adjustment as measured in 2003. Our sample consisted of 225 participants divided into 2 groups: ex-prisoners of war (ex-POWs) (N=122) and a comparison group comprised of veterans who fought in the same war but who had not experienced captivity (N=103). The findings demonstrate that ex-POWs display lower levels of marital adjustment and higher levels of PTSD than controls. Loneliness was found to mediate the relationship between PTSD as measured in 1991 and marital adjustment as measured in 2003 for both ex-POWs and controls. Further, for ex-POWs, loneliness contributes to marital adjustment above and beyond the contribution of PTSD as measured in 2003. The theoretical implications of loneliness for the marital relationships of traumatized ex-POWs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-275
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Process
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Loneliness
  • Marital Adjustment
  • POWs
  • PTSD

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