Childhood adversity and traumatic exposures during deployment as predictors of mental health in Australian military veterans

Zheng, Wu Yi, Kanesarajah, Jeeva, Waller, Michael, McGuire, Annabel C., Treloar, Susan A. and Dobson, Annette J. (2016) Childhood adversity and traumatic exposures during deployment as predictors of mental health in Australian military veterans. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40 1: 10-15. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12499


Author Zheng, Wu Yi
Kanesarajah, Jeeva
Waller, Michael
McGuire, Annabel C.
Treloar, Susan A.
Dobson, Annette J.
Title Childhood adversity and traumatic exposures during deployment as predictors of mental health in Australian military veterans
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1753-6405
1326-0200
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.12499
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 40
Issue 1
Start page 10
End page 15
Total pages 6
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To examine whether the relationship between traumatic exposure on deployment and poor mental health varies by the reported level of childhood adversity experienced in Australian military veterans deployed to the Bougainville or East Timor military operations.

Methods: Cross-sectional self-reported survey data were collected in 2008 from 3,564 Australian military veterans who deployed to East Timor or Bougainville on their deployment experiences, health and recall of childhood events. Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate the association between childhood adversity, deployment exposures and mental health.

Results: The most common childhood adversity reported was 'not having a special teacher, youth worker or family friend who looked out for them while growing up'. On average, responders reported experiencing 3.5 adverse childhood experiences (SD 2.7) and averaged 5.3 (SD 4.9) traumatic exposures on deployment. Both childhood adversity and traumatic exposures on deployment were associated with higher odds of poorer mental health. However, there was no evidence that level of childhood adversity modified the association between traumatic exposure and mental health.

Conclusions/Implications: These findings suggest that military personnel who recalled a higher level of childhood adversity may need to be monitored for poor mental health and, if required, provided with appropriate support.
Keyword Alcohol dependency
Childhood adversity
Depression
Military
PTSD symptoms
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 19 Nov 2015, 00:30:28 EST by Alison Manley on behalf of School of Public Health