Risk-Taking Behaviors and Impulsivity Among Veterans With and Without Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Mild TBI
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), both of which are associated with premature mortality. The present study examined two factors that may play a role in premature mortality-impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors-in a sample of 234 veterans screening positive for
PTSD+ mTBI, and controls. Analyses of variance demonstrated that veterans with
PTSD, regardless of mTBI status, reported engaging in more frequent risky behaviors and reported a greater tendency to engage in impulsive behaviors when in a negative affective state. They also reported more premilitary delinquent behaviors and more suicide-related behaviors than controls. The present study highlights associations between impulsivity, risk-taking behaviors, and
PTSD, and suggests continuity across the lifespan in terms of a predisposition to engage in impulsive and/or risky behaviors. Thorough evaluation of impulsivity and potentially risky behaviors is important in clinical settings to guide interventions and reduce the mortality and public health impact of high-risk behaviors in veterans.