PTSD symptoms and marital adjustment among Ex-POWs' wives

Yafit Levin, Talya Greene, Zahava Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study prospectively assessed the implications of war captivity and former prisoners of war's (ex-POWs) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and PTSD trajectory on their wives' marital adjustment, adjusting for their secondary traumatization (ST). Results show that marital adjustment of the wives of ex-POWs with PTSD (N = 66) was lower compared to wives of ex-POWs (N = 37) and combat veterans (N = 55) without PTSD symptoms. Investigating the possible mechanism underlying the lower marital adjustment, via a mediating model, indicated that husbands' PTSD symptoms mediated the association between captivity and the wives' marital adjustment. Moreover, husbands' PTSD trajectories assessed over 17 years were implicated in their wives' marital adjustment; wives of ex-POWs with chronic PTSD reported lower marital adjustment compared to wives of resilient ex-POWs. The substantial novelty was revealed in prospective deterioration found in dyadic adjustment among wives of ex-POWs with delayed PTSD, but not for wives of chronic or resilient ex-POWs. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Marital adjustment
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Prisoner of war
  • Secondary traumatization
  • Trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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