Soldiers face a great number of traumatic combat exposures while deployed, which research has shown to contribute to the development of alcohol misuse. In addition to this known risk factor, we hypothesize that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) also contribute to the likelihood that soldiers will engage in these behaviors, even after adjusting for deployment-related factors (mental health problems and combat exposure).
Soldiers were surveyed anonymously approximately 3 months upon return from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) from 2003-2006. Six brigade combat teams were included in the analyses (n=7,849). Participants were asked about ACEs, mental health symptoms, alcohol misuse, risky behaviors related to alcohol misuse, and combat exposure.
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