Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by traumatic military experiences is associated with feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness and/or guilt. New Penn State research is evaluating how PTSD symptoms increase risks for academic difficulties as well.
Academic Problems Linked to PTSD
Steffany Fredman, assistant professor of human development and family studies and the Karl R. Fink and Diane Wendle Fink Early Career Professor for the Study of Families, wanted to explore one potential process by which PTSD symptoms may contribute to academic problems in student veterans.
It’s an issue rising to the forefront as increasing numbers of veterans are enrolling in colleges and universities.
“Many of these former service members are experiencing posttraumatic stress symptoms secondary to their military service, and these symptoms are associated with academic difficulties,” Fredman explained. “There’s an extensive literature demonstrating that PTSD symptoms can cause disruptions in trauma survivors’ close relationships. However, less is known about ways that these relationship problems can, in turn, affect other domains of trauma survivors’ adjustment, such as students’ academic functioning.”
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