Posttraumatic Stress Affects Academics

Posted on May 23, 2018

Issues of PTSD-related implications are rising to the forefront as increasing numbers of veterans are enrolling in colleges and universities. For this study, researchers looked at a subsample of over 2,000 student service members and veterans, then further divided them into four groups based on relationship status and gender, including both partnered and non-partnered women, and partnered and non-partnered men.

They found that, for all groups, military-related posttraumatic stress was associated with greater family distress and lower support from friends and acquaintances and that these difficulties were, in turn, associated with higher academic dysfunction. Further, the effect of PTSD symptoms on academic dysfunction was strongest for partnered women compared to the other three groups and was due to a greater influence of family problems on partnered women's academic adjustment.

Researchers theorized that partnered women's tendencies to "tend and befriend" when under stress may make them especially susceptible to the negative impacts of relationship problems on other areas of their lives, including academic functioning. Partnered women who are already struggling with the effects of posttraumatic stress and its impact on their relationships may be working extra hard to manage those relationships, leaving less time and fewer emotional resources for their studies.

In future, researchers hope to develop interventions that can be delivered during critical transitional periods, such as during college years, that can serve as a unique window of opportunity to help trauma survivors address these difficulties so that they can fully benefit from their education and lead happier and healthier lives.

Category(s):Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from Science Daily

Mental Health News