Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Scott R. Vrana

Second Advisor

Sandra E. Gramling

Third Advisor

Karen S. Quigley


Potential risk factors for development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are still unclear. One potential risk factor for the development of PTSD is an individual’s cardiovascular reactivity and recovery in response to stressor tasks. The current study was conducted with 763 Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers. Participants completed a stressful induction along with self-report measures prior to deployment. Post-deployment, self-report measures were completed to assess PTSD symptomatology and experiences related to deployment and combat. Multiple regression was used to determine the ability of blood pressure response to stress to predict PTSD symptoms immediately and one-year after return from deployment. Results indicated that soldiers who had a less reactive systolic blood pressure response to and recovery from stressor tasks reported more PTSD symptomatology immediately after and one year after return from deployment. These results suggest that soldiers who develop PTSD after deployment have less pre-deployment emotion regulation ability.


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