Domestic violence in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder who seek couples therapy

Michelle D. Sherman, Fred Sautter, M. Hope Jackson, Judy A. Lyons, Xiaotong Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Domestic violence rates among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are higher than those of the general population. Individuals who have been diagnosed with PTSD who seek couples therapy with their partners constitute an understudied population. Self-report measures of domestic violence, relationship satisfaction, and intimacy were administered at intake to 179 couples seeking relationship therapy at a Veterans Affairs clinic. Couples in which the veteran was diagnosed with combat-related PTSD were compared with two other groups based on the veteran's primary diagnosis (depression, adjustment disorder/V-code). Both the PTSD- and depression-diagnosed veterans perpetrated more violence than did those with adjustment/V-code diagnoses. Domestic violence rates among depressed and PTSD-diagnosed veterans were much higher than those found in previous research. Implications for assessment and treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-490
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of marital and family therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006


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