Publications

The following manuscripts have been published or are currently in press. Listings are in chronological order, unless otherwise noted.

Research Publication 2
Title Publication Date/Location
Longitudinal associations of military-related factors on self-reported sleep among U.S. service members Sleep In press

Cooper AD, Kolaja CA, Markwald RR, Jacobson IG, Chinoy ED

This study examined military factors in relation to the development and reoccurrence of short sleep duration (≤5 hours or 6 hours) and insomnia symptoms (i.e., trouble falling asleep or staying asleep in the past month)over a 3-15 year follow-up period. Military factors consistently associated with an increased risk for development and/or reoccurrence of short sleep duration and insomnia symptoms included active duty service, Army or Marine Corps service, combat deployment, and longer than average deployment lengths. Officers and noncombat deployers had decreased risk for either poor sleep characteristic. Length of service and separation from the military were complex factors; each lowered risk for ≤5 hours sleep but increased risk for insomnia symptoms. Findings suggest that efforts to improve sleep prioritization and implement interventions targeting at-risk military populations, behaviors, and other significant factors are warranted.

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Combat Experience, New-Onset Mental Health Conditions, and Posttraumatic Growth in U.S. Service Members Psychiatry In press

Jacobson IG, Adler AB, Roenfeldt KA, Porter,B., LeardMann CA, Rull RP, Hoge CW

Research on posttraumatic growth (PTG) after traumatic experiences has raised questions on measurement, validity, and clinical utility. We longitudinally examined PTG among Millennium Cohort Study deployers (n=8,732), who screened negative for PTSD and depression at time 1, using a measure that improved upon previous psychometric issues. A strong inverse correlation was found between PTG scores at time 2 and new onset mental health problems (PTSD, depression), where lower growth scores correlated with worse mental health (i.e. higher PTSD or depression screening scores). Only 5% of participants who screened positive for a mental health problem at time 2 experienced positive growth. Results suggest that measurement of PTG is not independent from mental health problems following combat experiences and thus challenge the clinical utility of the PTG construct.

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Association of deployment with maintenance of healthy weight among active duty service members in the Millennium Cohort Study Obesity Science and Practice 2021; 1- 7. doi:10.1002/osp4.556

Carey FR, Jacobson IG, Roenfeldt KA, Rull RP

Understanding changes in weight in relation to deployment readiness can inform Department of Defense fitness policies. This study examined longitudinal associations between deployment and service branch-specific changes in body mass index (BMI) among active duty participants without obesity (BMI< 30kg/m2) at baseline (n=22,995). Service members, particularly Army and Marine Corps personnel, with longer deployments were less likely to maintain a healthy weight (BMI < 30) than those with shorter deployment lengths. Conversely, each additional deployment increased the likelihood of maintaining a healthy weight post-deployment for personnel in the Army, Marine Corps, and within the pooled population. These results indicate that multiple deployments may support healthy weight maintenance and longer deployments may adversely impact weight maintenance. Fitness policies designed to optimize service member readiness should consider modifiable behaviors related to weight gain among those who are deployed for long periods of time.

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Sexual Health Difficulties Among Service Women: The Influence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Journal of Affective Disorders 2021 Sep 1;292:678-686

Kolaja CA, Schuyler AC, Armenta RF, Orman JA, Stander VA, LeardMann CA

Sexual health of service women was found to be negatively impacted by recent combat deployment and sexual assault. Post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) mediated the associations of recent combat deployment and sexual assault with sexual health difficulties. Some military factors (i.e., service branch, component, paygrade) were associated with sexual health difficulties among service women. Findings indicate that effective treatment of PTSD may mitigate sexual health issues.

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The Role of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Negative Affect in Predicting Substantiated Intimate Partner Violence Incidents Among Military Personnel Military Behavioral Health 2021 Aug 2. doi:10.1080/21635781.2021.1953644

Stander, VA, Woodall KA, Richardson SM, Thomsen CJ, Milner JS, McCarroll JE, Riggs DS, Cozza SJ, for the Millennium Cohort Study Team

Increasing rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military populations may indicate heightened risk for aggression, including aggression among domestic partners. Using longitudinal data from the Millennium Cohort Study, we evaluated the association of PTSD symptom clusters and comorbid conditions as predictors of incidents of met criteria incidents of domestic abuse (physical and psychological) from DoD Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Central Registry data. Among 54,667 active-duty personnel who responded to the 2011 survey, FAP records documented 501 participants (1%) with incidents of emotional or physical met criteria incidents of aggression in the data collection period. Results showed that certain aspects of PTSD and behavioral health problems predicted incidents. In particular, general PTSD symptoms (e.g., anger/irritability, sleep disruption) and comorbid alcohol dependence were stronger predictors than trauma-specific PTSD symptomology (e.g., reexperiencing, hypervigilance). These results indicate that clinicians should consider the interpersonal consequences of PTSD and related behavioral problems.

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The effect of combat exposure on veteran homelessness Journal of Housing Economics Information 49,101711

Ackerman A, Porter B, Sullivan R

Homelessness is a serious problem among veterans, but how military service contributes to the risk of homelessness is unclear. This study examined the impact of witnessing another's death (a proxy for combat) on likelihood of reporting homelessness. One exposure was associated with a 0.6% increase in homelessness. Extrapolated to the overall population, combat exposure is expected to contribute to 4,600 instances of homeless veterans.

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Health of Army Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians in the Millennium Cohort Study Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2021 Apr 1;258(7):767-775

Rivera AC, Geronimo-Hara TR, LeardMann CA, Penix EA, Phillips CJ, Faix DJ, Rull RP, Whitmer DL, Adler AB, for the Millennium Cohort Study Team

This analysis assessed the risk of mental health problems, suicidal ideation, psychotropic medication use, problem drinking, sleep quality, and lack of social support among 101 Army veterinarians and 334 veterinary technicians compared with other Army medical professionals (856 physicians and dentists and 6,453 medics, respectively) enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study. Compared with physicians and dentists, veterinarians had elevated risks for mental health problems, trouble sleeping, and lack of social support after adjusting for important factors such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, financial problems, and deployment status. Veterinary technicians had no significantly elevated risks for any of the adverse outcomes of interest compared with medics.

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Comparison of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist Instruments from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition vs Fifth Edition in a Large Cohort of US Military Service Members and Veterans JAMA Network Open 2021; 4(4): e218072

LeardMann, CA, McMaster HS, Warner S, Esquivel AP, Porter B, Powell TM, Tu XM, Lee WW, Rull RP, Hoge CW, for the Millennium Cohort Study Team

To assist in the longitudinal assessment of PTSD spanning the transition between the DSM-IV and DSM-V, we compared the PTSD Checklist-Civilian version (PCL-C) with the PCL for DSM-5 (PCL-5) in a sample of 1,921 servicemembers. There was substantial to excellent agreement when comparing individual items, frequency of probable PTSD, and sum scores; and nearly identical associations with comorbid conditions. Our results provide support that PTSD can be successfully assessed and compared over time with either PCL instrument in veteran and military populations.

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Association of Combat Experiences With Suicide Attempts Among Active-Duty US Service Members JAMA Network Open 2021;4(2):e2036065

LeardMann CA, Matsuno R, Boyko EJ, Powell TM, Reger MA, Hoge CW, for the Millennium Cohort Study Team

Among 57,841 active-duty service members who had deployed, high combat severity and certain specific combat experiences were associated with suicide attempts. However, these associations were mostly accounted for by mental disorders, especially PTSD. Findings suggest that service members who experience high levels of combat or are exposed to certain types of combat experiences, involving unexpected events or those that challenge moral or ethical norms, may have an increased risk of a suicide attempt, either directly or indirectly through mental disorders.

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Sexual Health Problems among Service Men: The Influence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Journal of Sex Research 2021 Jan 11:1-13

Kolaja CA, Roenfeldt K, Armenta RF, Schuyler AC, Orman JA, Stander VA, LeardMann CA

Among service men, numerous factors (e.g. older age, lower education, enlisted paygrade, disabling injury, BMI) were associated with sexual health problems. PTSD mediated the associations between stressors (combat deployment and sexual assault) and sexual health outcomes. These findings indicate that sexual health is negatively affected by military-related stressors and comprehensive treatment options are warranted.

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