A link between posttraumatic stress disorder and health behaviors, such as exercise, alcohol, smoking, and caffeine has been suggested. However, it is unknown whether veterans with combat-related PTSD differ from combat veterans without PTSD and whether health behaviors change over the course of exposure therapy for PTSD or differ based on PTSD severity. This study examined the relationship between health behaviors and PTSD. More specifically, combat veterans with and without PTSD were compared across self-reported levels of alcohol use, smoking, exercise, and caffeine. Health behaviors of combat veterans with PTSD were compared before and after a 17-week treatment for PTSD. Results showed a significant number of participants decreased alcohol use at post-treatment by an average of eight drinks over 30 days, regardless of their PTSD severity level or amount of improvement in PTSD symptoms. No significant differences were found for other health behaviors.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Kitsmiller, Emily, "Health Behaviors in Military Veterans with and without Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5716.