Trajectories of depression in aging veterans and former prisoners-of-war: The role of social support and hardiness

Rahel Bachem, Xiao Zhou, Yafit Levin, Zahava Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Depression is a prevalent outcome of traumatic experiences, such as combat and war captivity. This study explores the heterogeneity of changes over time and assesses the contribution of trauma exposure (combat vs. war captivity), hardiness, and social support for depression trajectories. Methods: Two groups of Israeli veterans were assessed in 1991, 2003, 2008, and 2015: 149 former prisoners-of-war (ex-POWs) and 107 combat veterans. Protective factors were evaluated in 1991. Group-based trajectory modeling was conducted to identify latent trajectories of change. Results: Four trajectories of “resiliency” (62.8%), “delayed onset” (25.1%), “exacerbation” (6.2%), and “chronicity” (5.9%) were found. The majority of the resilient group were combat veterans whereas the clinical groups consisted primarily of ex-POWs. Lower hardiness and social support were related to more deleterious trajectories. Conclusions: Spirals of loss involving hardiness and social support, normative experiences, and contextual factors may present explanations for the various depression trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2203-2215
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume77
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • depression
  • latent trajectories
  • longitudinal assessment
  • posttraumatic response
  • psychological resources
  • risk factors
  • war captivity
  • war trauma

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