The course of PTSD symptoms among Gulf War veterans: A growth mixture modeling approach

Holly K. Orcutt, Darin J. Erickson, Jessica Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Relatively little is known about the course of PTSD symptoms over time following trauma exposure. Accordingly, this study utilized a specialized structural equation modeling approach, growth mixture modeling, to examine the trajectory of PTSD symptoms across three time points in a sample of Gulf War veterans (n at Time 1 2,949, n at Time 2 2,313, and n at Time 3 1,327). Results were most consistent with a two-group model suggesting that the course of PTSD symptoms following the Gulf War was best characterized by two distinct growth curves: (1) low levels of PTSD symptoms with little increase over time and (2) higher levels of initial symptoms with a significant increase over time. Thus, it appears that response to Gulf War experiences is not homogeneous, and that a subset of individuals may experience relatively more PTSD symptoms over time. In addition, men, Whites, those reporting more education, and those reporting less combat exposure had a significantly higher probability of being classified into the less symptomatic group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD and the VA’s Mental Health Strategic Healthcare group. We also thank Susan Proctor and Scott Pickett for their assistance.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Gulf War veterans
  • PTSD
  • growth mixture modeling
  • longitudinal

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