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Factors associated with physical aggression among US Army soldiers.

Authors
  • Gallaway, Michael Shayne
  • Fink, David S
  • Millikan, Amy M
  • Bell, Michael R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Aggressive behavior
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
Volume
38
Issue
5
Pages
357–367
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/ab.21436
PMID: 22898873
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

There are a growing number of studies that have approximated levels of aggression and associated outcomes among combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan using brief screening assessments. However, further research to evaluate the relative role of combat exposures and overt physical behaviors is required to further elucidate potential associations between military service, combat deployment, and overt physical aggression. The purpose of the current study was to assess the prevalence of self-reported physical aggression in a sample of US Army soldiers using an adaptation of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2), and examine factors associated with higher levels of aggression. A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted at a single US Army Installation within a sample of active duty US Army soldiers (n = 6,128) from two large units. Anonymous surveys were collected 6 months following deployment to measure overt aggressive behaviors, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, and misuse of alcohol. There were a relatively higher number of minor and severe physical overt aggressive actions reported among soldiers who previously deployed, notably highest among deployed soldiers reporting the highest levels of combat intensity. Soldiers screening positive for the misuse of alcohol were also significantly more likely to report relatively higher levels of physical aggression. This study quantified overt aggressive behaviors and associated factors, showing increasing combat exposures may result in increased physical aggression. Clinicians treating service members returning from combat may consider assessing relative levels of combat.

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