ABSTRACT

Veterans who have experienced combat exposure can develop various physical and psychological symptoms in later life, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Even though approximately 320,000 South Korean army troops were deployed in the Vietnam War, there have been only a few studies of Korean Vietnam War veterans to date. Therefore, the present study was conducted to examine the prevalence of PTSD symptoms of Korean Vietnam War veterans and to investigate the predictors of PTSD symptoms among demographic data, prewar factors (traumatic events, childhood family environments), warzone factors (combat exposure, controllability, social support), and postwar factors (social support after homecoming, additional stressful life events). The prevalence of PTSD symptoms in Korean Vietnam War veterans was found to be 40.8%. Additionally, logistic regression revealed that the likelihood of developing PTSD symptoms in later life depended on current income and physical health, childhood family environments, combat exposure, and social support, as well as additional stressful life events after homecoming. Implications and limitations of this study were discussed along with suggestions for future studies.

KEYWORD

Vietnam War veterans, prevalence of PTSD symptoms, prewar, warzone, and postwar factors

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