Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with increased overall risk for mortality as well as deaths death due to behavioral causes in combat veterans. In addition, adverse childhood experiences, including childhood physical abuse, have been associated with many of the leading causes of death in adults. The present study investigated childhood physical punishment experiences in 1,866 U.S. military male combat veterans who had been in residential PTSD treatment in order to explore whether such experiences were related to increased risk for mortality or cause of death in this population. It was hypothesized that more physical punishment would be related to increased mortality and behaviorally-caused deaths. Possible confounding variables such as depression and substance use disorders were also taken into account in the analyses. One-way ANOVAs comparing groups found no significant differences in mortality or cause of death based on childhood physical punishment experiences. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed and treatment implications are explored.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Veterans -- Mental health; Post-traumatic stress disorder

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Foy, David;