• Gitte Bjerregaard Jensen
4. semester, Psykologi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
In this study, I am interested in why some Danish war veterans develop post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) while others do not even though they have been exposed to some of the same potential traumatic experiences. Furthermore, I am interested in whether a person’s attachment style is a risk factor in developing PTSD among Danish war veterans. Based on this interest the following research question is made.
How is the connection between Danish veterans' attachment style and development of PTSD symptoms after military service?
And how do Danish veterans experience changes in their relationship after military service?
First this study consists of a systematic review of relevant scientific studies related to the research question. The studies are selected on the basis of a number of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The review gives an overview of existing studies and at the same time serves as a basis for choosing a survey as the research method for this study.
The survey is a mixed method consisting of two quantitative questionnaires measuring symptoms of PTSD and attachment styles. Furthermore, the survey is supplemented by qualitative questions for further investigation of attachment styles, symptoms of PTSD, and the experienced change in the relationship with a partner. In order to enable the mixed method, I adopt the anthropological psychology of scientific theory.
The quantitative data is processed by statistical testing, while the qualitative data is processed through data-based coding. The survey is a self-report survey, which has been distributed through various Facebook groups for Danish war veterans. The quantitative data from the survey were processed by testing four hypotheses. The hypotheses are as follows: 1) The groups with anxious ambivalent attachment style, avoidant attachment style and fearful attachment style report a higher degree of PTSD symptoms than the group with secure attachment style. 2) The degree of PTSD symptoms among the group with anxious ambivalent attachment style is higher than the group with avoidant attachment style. 3) The degree of PTSD symptoms among war veterans correlates negatively with time after a military service and 4) The group of participants reporting a negatively changed relationship with a partner exhibits a higher degree of PTSD symptoms than the group of participants reporting an unchanged or positively changed relationship with a partner.
The total sample size is 236 Danish war veterans. The gender distribution in the sample is 223 men and 13 women. In testing of the hypotheses, I find that the groups with insecure attachment styles (anxious ambivalent attachment style, avoidant attachment style and fearful attachment style) score a significant higher degree of PTSD than the group with a secure attachment style. In addition, I find no difference in the PTSD score between the group of participants with an anxious ambivalent attachment style and anavoidant attachment style. Furthermore, I find that time is a mediating factor in relation to the development of PTSD. The longer it has been since a war veteran has been to war, the higher the degree of PTSD symptoms are reported. Finally, I find that the war veterans who report a negatively changed relationship with a partner after military service show a significantly higher degree of PTSD symptoms compared with war veterans who experience no or a positive change.
In addition, the qualitative results show several eminent topics. The eminent topics related to the participants’ answers regarding PTSD are: Being alone, No partner, Support from partner and Ambiguous statements. The topics related to attachment are: The body remembers, Changed emotions, Greater temper, Reactions vs. military service and Illness. In relation to an experienced change in relationships, I find that many of the participants report about being divorced, feeling alone and experiencing a lack of understanding from others. Conversely some of them experienced positively changes. The topics related to an experienced change in relationship are: Divorce, Distancing, Lack of understanding from others, Lack of sex drive, Greater care and Unchanged.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2018
Antal sider73
ID: 280153171