Interpersonal trauma histories and relationship functioning among LGB Veteran couples seeking PTSD treatment

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Veterans report greater emotional distress, trauma exposure, and PTSD rates than both LGB civilians and non-LGB Veterans. Traumatic experiences impact intimate relationships, potentially placing LGB Veterans at higher risk of relationship dysfunction secondary to trauma and PTSD. However, limited research has examined links between relationship functioning and trauma histories among couples with one or more LGB-identifying partners.


In this exploratory study, participants include 21 couples from a larger treatment study comprising a PTSD-diagnosed Veteran and their significant other in which at least one partner identified as LGB. Variables included trauma experiences, PTSD symptom severity, and relationship satisfaction. A descriptive analysis revealed high relationship satisfaction despite high interpersonal trauma rates among both PTSD-diagnosed Veterans and their partners. Further, we found different patterns of relationship functioning depending on whether a participant had experienced sexual assault. These initial analyses present novel data on trauma in treatment-seeking LGB veteran couples and provide an important basis for future research on couple-based mental health treatments for this population.

Katerine Rashkovsky, Ingrid Solano, Chandra Khalifian, Leslie A. Morland & Kayla Knopp | 2022
In: Military Psychology ; ISSN: 0899-5605 | 34 | 4 | 494-501
Couples, Gender Issues, Homosexuals, Interpersonal Interaction, Mental health, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD (en), Research, Research Needs, Traumatic events, Treatment, Veterans