TitleCoping with Gulf War combat stress: mediating and moderating effects.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsSharkansky, EJ, King, DW, King, LA, Wolfe, J, Erickson, DJ, Stokes, LR
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Date Published2000 May

The authors examined relationships between method of coping with combat-related stress and psychological symptoms among Gulf War Army personnel (N = 1,058). Participants were surveyed on return from the Gulf region (Time 1) with the Coping Responses Inventory (R. Moos, 1990) and a measure of combat exposure. Outcomes were symptom measures of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. At Time 2 (18-24 months) participants completed the same symptom measures and an index of postwar stress. Higher proportions of approach-based coping in the war zone were related to lower levels of psychological symptoms. Combat exposure moderated the effects of coping on Time 1 PTSD. Coping predicted changes in symptoms of depression but not PTSD. Combat exposure affected changes in depression through postwar stress but had a direct negative effect on PTSD.