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OBJECTIVE: To assess the discriminant validity of late-onset stress symptomatology (LOSS) in terms of its distinction from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHOD: The LOSS Scale, PTSD Checklist - Civilian Version, and related psychological measures were administered to 562 older male combat veterans via a mailed questionnaire. Analyses focused on: (a) comparing associations of LOSS and PTSD with other psychological variables and (b) examining a hypothesized curvilinear relationship between LOSS and PTSD scores. RESULTS: Compared to PTSD, LOSS was more strongly associated with concerns about retirement and less strongly associated with depression, anxiety, sense of mastery, and satisfaction with life. LOSS also demonstrated a curvilinear relationship with PTSD, such that the positive association between LOSS and PTSD diminished at higher levels of PTSD. CONCLUSION: LOSS is conceptually and statistically more strongly associated with a normative late-life stressor than is PTSD, but is less strongly related to mental health symptoms and emotional well-being. Additionally, LOSS seems more related to subthreshold PTSD than it is to clinically significant PTSD. The present findings support the discriminant validity of LOSS.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/13607863.2012.717259

Type

Journal article

Journal

Aging Ment Health

Publication Date

2013

Volume

17

Pages

173 - 179

Keywords

Age of Onset, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Combat Disorders, Depression, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Retirement, Risk Factors, Self-Assessment, Social Adjustment, Socioeconomic Factors, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Stress, Psychological, Surveys and Questionnaires, United States, Veterans, Veterans Health