Documented combat-related mental health problems in military noncombatants

Alan L. Peterson, Vanessa Wong, Margaret F. Haynes, Anneke C. Bush, Jason E. Schillerstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Although combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been documented for military combatants, little is known about PTSD in noncombatants. Active-duty U.S. Air Force noncombatants (N = 5,367) completed a Post-Deployment Health Assessment upon return from combat zones in Iraq (n = 4,408) or a noncombat zone in Qatar (n = 959). Those deployed to Iraq were significantly more likely to report exposure to someone who was wounded or killed (20.8% vs. 6.3%), feeling in great danger of being killed at some point during deployment (18.9% vs. 3.5%), symptoms of PTSD (4.1% vs. 0.7%), and symptoms of major depression (9.9% vs. 5.4%). These findings suggest that deployment to a war zone is associated with increased mental health problems, even for noncombatants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-681
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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