Partners’ motivations for accommodating posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in service members: The reasons for accommodation of PTSD scale

Keith D. Renshaw, Elizabeth S. Allen, Steffany J. Fredman, Sarah T. Giff, Catherine Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Emerging research reinforces the importance of partner accommodation in the interpersonal context of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A better understanding of partners’ motivations for accommodation is needed to help refine or design interventions that target accommodation. To explore partners’ motivations, we created the Reasons for Accommodation of PTSD Scale (RAPS) and evaluated it in 263 female partners of male Army soldiers who had returned from a deployment within the past 2 years. Soldiers completed a measure of military-related PTSD, and partners completed a measure of accommodation and the newly created RAPS. Factor analysis of the RAPS yielded a clear, 3-factor solution suggesting the following reasons for accommodating: (1) Relationship & Obligation, or a desire for positive relationship outcomes and a sense of duty or responsibility; (2) Helping Recovery, or a belief that avoidance was helpful for the service member; and (3) Conflict Avoidance/Helplessness, or a desire to avoid conflict or simply not knowing what else to do. Analyses of these factors in relation to soldiers’ PTSD clusters indicated that hyperarousal symptoms were uniquely associated with relationship and obligation motivations, re-experiencing symptoms were uniquely associated with helping recovery motivations, and emotional numbing symptoms were uniquely associated with conflict avoidance and helplessness motivations. Furthermore, conflict avoidance and helplessness accounted for the greatest variance in partners’ accommodation frequency and distress. Assessment of partners’ accommodative behaviors, as well as their motivations for engaging in accommodation, may aid in treatment planning and enhance outcomes for couples in which one individual has PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102199
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume71
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2020

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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