Exploration of the Influence of Childhood Trauma, Combat Exposure, and the Resilience Construct on Depression and Suicidal Ideation Among U.S. Iraq/Afghanistan Era Military Personnel and Veterans

Nagy A. Youssef, Kimberly T. Green, Eric A. Dedert, Jeffrey S. Hertzberg, Patrick S. Calhoun, Michelle F. Dennis, Jean C. Beckham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the effect of childhood trauma exposure and the role of resilience on both depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. The study evaluated 1,488 military personnel and veterans, who served after September 2001, for depressive, suicidal, and PTSD symptoms, combat exposure, childhood trauma exposure, and resiliency. Participants were enrolled as part of an ongoing multicenter study. Outcome measures were depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. After controlling for the effects of combat exposure and PTSD, results revealed that childhood trauma exposures were significantly associated with depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. In addition, resilience was negatively associated with depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, suggesting a potential protective effect. These findings suggest that evaluation of childhood trauma is important in the clinical assessment and treatment of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation among military personnel and veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-122
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • child abuse
  • combat disorders
  • depressive disorder
  • posttraumatic stress disorders
  • psychological resilience
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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