Aggression and violent behavior in the military: Self-reported conflict tactics in a sample of service members and veterans seeking treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder

Straud, C. L., Resick, P. A., Foa, E. B., Back, S. E., Monson, C. M, McLean, C. P., Flanagan, J. C., Wachen, J. S., McMahon, C. J., Schuhman, B., Zwezig, S., Yarvis, J. S., Borah, A. M., Schrader, C. C., Sharrieff, A.-F. M., Schobitz, R. P., Roache, J. D., Litz, B. T., Young-McCaughan, S., Mintz, J., Keane, T. M., & Peterson, A. L., for the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD
Sep 2, 2022

Aggression and Violent Behavior, 66, Article 101734. 

Irritability, angry outbursts, and aggression are common among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although aggression can be a problem among many individuals with PTSD, research suggests that the relationship between PTSD and aggression might be particularly relevant among military/veteran populations as compared to civilians. The current study examined psychological and physical aggression in a large sample of treatment-seeking military service members and veterans (N = 1,434) enrolled in nine PTSD clinical trials. A baseline assessment using a modified version of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales evaluated aggression toward others in the past month. The results indicated that psychological aggression was more prevalent than physical aggression among military personnel with PTSD. Overall, 84.7% reported engaging in weekly psychological aggression, and 11.4% reported weekly physical aggression. Shouting at someone, insulting someone, and stomping off during a disagreement were the most frequent forms of psychological aggression endorsed. The findings provide a detailed account of the point prevalence and nature of various self-reported aggressive behaviors in military personnel with PTSD.