Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Rosemary McCaslin


This research examined life events that affect the onset of delayed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in aging combat veterans. A common result from experiencing combat trauma is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is a rapidly growing veteran population experiencing delayed onset Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The occurrence of additional life stressors may increase the likelihood that someone will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in response to a prior traumatic event. Participants of the study were combat veterans over the age of 65. Qualitative data were gathered from interviewing participants on life events they have experienced since combat exposure as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Findings suggested that life events contribute to the delayed onset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in aging combat veterans. Understanding the development and causes of delayed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will help social work practice develop and move forward with programs to improve the quality of life for aging veterans.

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