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Co-occurring, Combat exposure, Combat Veterans, Family resiliency, Family systems, Military partners, PTSD, Secondary trauma, Stressor, Trauma, U.S


Introduction: Military members and their families have been part of the Global War on Terrorism since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. As a result, higher levels of pathology — such as posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression — are being seen. No known studies have addressed the concept of resonating pathology between combat Veterans and their intimate partners. Resonating pathology, for the purpose of this study, is when the combat Veteran and their intimate partner demonstrate the same pathology at similar levels. Methods: Veterans and their intimate partners from across the United States (N = 398 couples) were asked to complete an Internet survey. Couples were required to meet the following criteria: one of them being a combat Veteran and both of them being together during the time of deployment. The authors used bivariate correlations to investigate the relationship between combat experience and Veteran pathology. Cross-tabulation analysis and paired t-tests were used to examine the relationship between Veteran and partner pathology, and categorical regression analysis was used to investigate predictive factors for pathology in both. Results: Combat exposure was moderately correlated to Veteran pathology, as expected. Moderate correlations were found between Veterans’ and intimate partners’ pathology and in the categories of severity. Combat exposure was found to be the most important factor in predicting both Veteran and partner pathology. Discussion: These findings support the construct of resonating pathology between combat Veterans and their intimate partners. Clinical implications of co-joint interventions and treatment planning are discussed.

Journal Title

Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health





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First Department

Graduate Psychology and Counseling


Open access article retrieved January 19, 2023 from