A new study led by John R. Blosnich from the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System has found that men and women who are in the military are more likely to have suffered from adverse childhood events (ACEs) which in turn could have made them view enlistment as a way to escape adversity.
Background: The prevalence of ACEs among U.S. military members and veterans is largely unknown. ACEs can result in severe adult health consequences such as posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use and attempted suicide.
How the Study Was Conducted: Authors compared the prevalence of ACEs among individuals with and without a history of military service using data from a behavioral risk surveillance system, along with telephone interviews, for an analytic sample of more than 60,000 people. ACEs in 11 categories were examined, including living with someone who is mentally ill, alcoholic or incarcerated, as well as witnessing partner violence, being physically abused, touched sexually or forced to have sex. Authors considered military service during the all-volunteer era (since 1973) vs. the draft era.
Discussion: "Further research is needed to understand how best to support service members and veterans who may have experienced ACEs."