Date of Award

4-1985

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

Abstract

Throughout the history of warfare, the most difficult casualty to identify has been the emotionally wounded. Although policy changes were made to reduce the effects of psychiatric casualties, a number of Vietnam combat veterans continue to experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The purpose of this research was to survey the emotional conflicts of Vietnam combat veterans who were diagnosed as experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Subjects (n = 28) were voluntary outpatient clients of a V.A. Mental Health clinic who were free of psychiatric, substance abuse, or organic problems. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was used, and analyses included the clinical and research scales, Harris-Lingoes subscales, Wiggins content scales and the Koss-Butcher critical items.

Three research questions addressed: (a) the presence of psychopathology as indicated by the sample's MMPI profile, (b) the dynamics inferred from the MMPI profile, (c) and the data's implications for treatment.

Comparison of the MMPI mean sample profile with other PTSD sample profiles supported the profile's validity. A significant level of psychopathology was indicated by the elevation of six of the ten MMPI clinical scales. The dynamics inferred from the profile included: depression, despondency, pessimism, confused thinking, poor memory, and difficulties with concentration. Subscale analysis indicated which dimension of the clinical scale contributed to the clinical scale elevation. Contributors to the clinical scale elevation were often different from those generally assumed from the clinical scale elevation, or the misperceptions of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder veterans.

The MMPI data's implications for treatment of PTSD involved: (a) the recognition of significant psychological pain, (b) traumatic stressor's impact upon the veteran's adjustment, (c) the trauma-based obstacles to a therapeutic relationship, (d) the severity of repressed affect, and (e) the veteran's resiliency.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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