Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The theoretical and empirical literature on post-traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam era veterans is reviewed, and the problems of the existing data in this area are discussed. In order to understand the effect of combat stress on the personality, 50 combat veterans and 50 noncombat veterans, who were alcohol and/or drug patients at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Hospital, were administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The group of combat veterans were further divided into groups of wounded (N = 15) and nonwounded (N = 35) veterans with the assumption that the experience of being wounded is an additional trauma which is not experienced by all combatants. Each subject was also administered the Shipley-Hartford Scale for Measuring Intellectual Impairment (S-H) and a demographic questionnaire for the purpose of viewing relationships among combat status, wounded status, MMPI scale scores, intelligence as measured by S-H, and demographic variables.

No significant relationships were found with regard to MMPI scale scores and combat status. Wounded veterans yielded significantly higher scores on Scale 1 (Hypochondriasis) of the MMPI. Results indicated that younger veterans were more impulsive, and tended to be more socially isolated, alienated, withdrawn, and in more psychological turmoil than older veterans, suggesting that a cohort effect may account for the psychological symptoms found in Vietnam era veterans rather than the experience of combat. The problem of using only alcohol and/or drug addicted subjects is discussed, and recommendations for further research in the area are made.