Patterns and correlates of racial/ethnic disparities in posttraumatic stress disorder screening among recently separated veterans

Juliette McClendon, Daniel Perkins, Laurel A. Copeland, Erin P. Finley, Dawne Vogt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the high prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among military veterans, there is a lack of knowledge about racial/ethnic differences. The current study describes patterns and correlates of PTSD screening across race/ethnicity and gender in a sample of 9420 veterans recently separated from the military. Veterans who identified as White (n = 6222), Hispanic/Latinx (n = 1313), Black (n = 1027), Asian/Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (n = 420) and multiracial (n = 438) were included. Method: Trauma exposure and PTSD were assessed with the Primary Care PTSD Screen for DSM-5. Contextual factors examined included the intensity of ongoing stressful events, perceived social support, and sociodemographic variables (e.g., income). Weighted analyses were conducted to account for differential sample response rates. Regression analyses examining correlates of racial/ethnic differences in PTSD screening were stratified by gender. Results: Among men and women, positive PTSD screening rates were significantly elevated among Black, multiracial, and Hispanic/Latinx veterans compared with White veterans. Sociodemographics, trauma exposure, stress and social support accounted for elevated positive screening rates among all racial/ethnic groups except Black men and multiracial women. Conclusions: Findings suggest that Black, Hispanic/Latinx and multiracial veterans may be at higher risk for PTSD shortly following separation from the military. Contextual factors examined explain the excess risk among some, but not all, subgroups. Further specifying disparities in PTSD diagnostic rates and risk factors will enable targeted and tailored intervention among veteran subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102145
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Disparities
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Social support
  • Stress
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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