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Many U.S. Male Soldiers Had Troubled Childhoods, Study Finds
Date:7/23/2014

By
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. servicemen are more likely to have been exposed to some form of childhood trauma than their civilian counterparts, a large, new survey suggests.

The finding seems to apply solely to military men, not women.

The research team suggested that the finding could be a cause for concern, given that early childhood exposure to various forms of physical, mental, and/or sexual abuse among the civilian population has been linked to a higher adult risk for depression, drug abuse and suicidal tendencies.

"At this point, we are not clear what may be driving the higher percentage [of childhood trauma]," said study author John Blosnich, a researcher with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System. "This first study is only a signal that showed there was difference. [And] as with many initial studies like this, it raises more questions than it answers."

Blosnich and his colleagues report their findings online July 23 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

To explore the prevalence of childhood trauma among members of the military, the study authors analyzed telephone interviews conducted throughout 2010 among nearly 61,000 men and women by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

One-quarter of the men and 2 percent of the women had a military background.

All were asked to recount negative childhood events experienced before the age of 18, including: living with a person who was depressed, mentally ill or suicidal; living with an alcohol or drug abuser; living with someone who had been in prison; living in a separated or divorced household; witnessing parental violence; and/or being sub
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