Peace of mind: Promoting psychological growth and reducing the suffering of combat veterans

Anna Harwood-Gross, Alon Weltman, Yaniv Kanat-Maymon, Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Danny Brom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Peace of Mind (POM) program was designed to enable combat veterans in Israel to process their combat experience, address difficulties in the transition to civilian life and facilitate psychological growth as a result of their military experience. During the course of the program, 1068 participants were studied at four time points. Post-traumatic symptoms were measured using the PTSD checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), and post-traumatic growth (PTG) was measured using the Post Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). Multilevel Modeling (MLM) was used to assess symptom and psychological trajectories for all participants and for those who began with and without PTSD symptoms, respectively. The results demonstrated that those who began the program with elevated PTSD symptoms experienced a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms following the completion of the intensive element of the program. Additionally, all participants demonstrated an increase in PTG following the intensive section of the program and this was maintained throughout follow-up. The findings indicate that the POM program is beneficial in relation to both positive and negative outcomes of traumatic military experiences though it is clear that the transition from combat to civilian life is more complex than the current measures identify and that further research needs to examine the distinct lifestyle and functional changes which occur following the program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-678
Number of pages11
JournalMilitary Psychology
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Society for Military Psychology, Division 19 of the American Psychological Association.

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • Veteran
  • combat team
  • growth
  • posttraumatic growth
  • transition

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