According to a new study by the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, shows that many male soldiers suffered childhood abuse or trauma of some type. These findings are a reason for concern because childhood trauma and abuse have a proven link to substance abuse and certain mental disorders like depression. These individuals are also much more likely to display suicidal tendencies. One of the interesting discoveries was that male soldiers in the US military were far more likely than female soldiers to have suffered through some type of trauma or abuse as children, and to report these experiences if the individual was in the military after 1973. There was little difference in the percentage of women who reported these issues before 1973 and after 1973. The latest study can be found in the July 23 online edition of JAMA Psychiatry.
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion John Blosnich was the lead author of the study, and he commented “At this point, we are not clear what may be driving the higher percentage of childhood trauma. 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 went on to say “Traditionally, those who serve in our nation’s military have better health than those without comparable service history. So it is possible that the education, training, structure, and fellowship of the military may help to buffer those negative early life experiences.”