This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Resilience Across Subgroups of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Misuse in the Military: A Latent Profile Analysis




Caruso, Margaret

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Psychological Sciences

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



Veterans and active-duty service members (ADSM) are at an elevated risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use misuse. Research indicates patterns of PTSD symptoms and alcohol use are highly heterogeneous, as latent class analysis (LCA) and latent profile analysis (LPA) have identified homogeneous subgroups of individuals. Although research has begun to investigate latent classes’ differential relationships with external correlates, none have focused on protective factors. Resilience, an individual’s ability to thrive despite adversity, is a known protective factor against alcohol misuse and PTSD among combat Veterans. To better understand the role of resiliency, in a high-risk group (i.e., military community), the completed study replicated and extended findings from the limited number of LCAs/LPAs of DSM-5 PTSD and alcohol misuse, and to examine how quantitative and qualitative class differences in PTSD symptoms and alcohol misuse relate to resiliency and other related constructs (i.e., depression, substance use, and nicotine use). Analyses yielded a 3-profile solution among 1,147 trauma exposed ADSMs and Veterans consisting of a profile with low PTSD/low alcohol, moderate PTSD/low alcohol profile, and a moderate PTSD/high alcohol profile. Covariate analyses demonstrated significant differences between classes based on resilience and depression, but not past two-week substance or nicotine use. Limitations and recommendations for future studies and clinical decision-making are discussed.