Cross-sectional examination of physical Abuse victimization differences between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual Service members in the U.S. military, 2018
Abstract: The primary objective was to analyze the association between sexual orientation and physical abuse victimization using a representative sample from the U.S. active-duty military population. The secondary objective was to determine if differences exist by sexual orientation in perceived barriers (e.g., stigma) to mental health care utilization among physical abuse victimization survivors. The 2018 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS) (n = 17,166 active-duty respondents) was used for analysis. Weighted logistic regressions and Poisson regressions were used for multivariable analyses, controlling for demographic and military variables. Approximately 93.7% of respondents identified as heterosexual or straight, 2.3% identified as gay or lesbian, and 4% as bisexual. Bisexual active-duty service members had 1.5-fold greater odds of reporting any form of physical abuse victimization (adjusted odds ratio: 1.50 and 95% confidence interval: 1.07–2.10). However, there was no difference observed between gay/lesbian and heterosexual service members for physical abuse victimization. Among survivors of physical abuse victimization, bisexual (p = 0.0038) and gay (p < 0.0001) service members were more likely to report more than one mental health care barrier compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Bisexual service members were more likely to experience physical abuse victimization when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. In addition, gay and bisexual survivors of physical abuse were more likely to experience barriers to mental health care. Tailored interventions should explore strategies to prevent victimization and disparities in mental health care utilization by sexual orientation.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Accumulating data suggest that the structure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms may be more nuanced than proposed by prevailing nosological models. Emerging theory further suggests that an 8-factor model with separate internally- (e.g., flashbacks) and externally- (e.g., trauma cue-related emotional reactivity) generated intrusive symptoms may best represent PTSD symptoms. To date, however, scarce research has evaluated the fit of this model and whether index traumas are differentially associated with it in populations at high risk for trauma exposure, such as military veterans. METHODS: Data were analyzed from a nationally representative sample of 3847 trauma-exposed U.S. veterans who participated in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to evaluate the fit of a novel 8-factor model of PTSD symptoms relative to 4-factor DSM-5 and empirically-supported 7-factor hybrid models. RESULTS: The 8-factor model fit the data significantly better than the 7-factor hybrid and 4-factor DSM-5 models. Combat exposure and harming others were more strongly associated with internally-generated intrusions, while interpersonal violence and disaster/accident showed stronger significant associations with externally-generated intrusions. LIMITATIONS: The 8-factor model requires validation in non-veteran and more diverse trauma-exposed populations, as well as with clinician-administered interviews. CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study provide support for a novel 8-factor model of PTSD symptoms that is characterized by separate internally- and externally-generated intrusions. They also suggest that certain index traumas may lead to differential expression of these symptoms.