Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Kari L. Fletcher


Social Work


The purpose of this study was to better understand how historical experiences of interpersonal trauma may predict posttraumatic stress symptoms and posttraumatic growth (PTG) among combat veterans who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, 2001-2014) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, 2002-2010). A better understanding of the full spectrum of experience related to trauma may have profound implications for treatment, particularly in aiding social workers in the treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms and the facilitation of posttraumatic growth in treatment-seeking veterans. This quantitative study used secondary data (n = 110), which was collected between 2005 and 2007 from a sample of veterans receiving medical care at a large Midwestern Veterans Affairs Medical Center who had returned from deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan in the six months prior to data collection. The results of this study demonstrated that a history of interpersonal trauma predicts higher posttraumatic stress scores among post-9/11 combat veterans. Additionally, this study found that a history of interpersonal trauma also predicted lower posttraumatic growth scores among this population. Also discussed are implications for clinical practice and future research.

Included in

Social Work Commons