This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Post Concussion Syndrome in Relation to the Alcohol Use Among Members of the Armed Force Who Served in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom




Caruso, Margaret

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Alcohol use is an established behavior and a growing concern within the Active Duty Service Members and Veteran communities. Previous research has found both Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are associated with increased risk of experiencing negative consequences in conjunction with alcohol use. Presently the literature does not examine the relationships among these constructs among Combat Veterans using DSM-5 criteria and validated measures of all relevant symptoms. The current study sought to investigate these relationships in a sample of 88 male combat Veterans. Pearson correlations found that PTSD and TBI symptoms were highly correlated with each other, and that PTSD positively correlated with alcohol-related symptoms. However, TBI symptoms were not correlated with alcohol-related symptoms. To determine whether PCS moderates the relationship between PTSD and alcohol-related symptoms, we conducted two regressions (i.e., total scores and subscales). When included into the models simultaneously, neither PTSD total or TBI total scores nor PTSD avoidance scores or TBI vestibular scores accounted for variance in alcohol total scores, respectively. The respective interaction terms also failed to reach significance. These findings add to the varied results of previous research on the relationship between these constructs. Findings are also discussed in terms of limitations and future directions for research.