Stephen C Messer

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BACKGROUND The current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have involved U.S. military personnel in major ground combat and hazardous security duty. Studies are needed to systematically assess the mental health of members of the armed services who have participated in these operations and to inform policy with regard to the optimal delivery of mental(More)
OBJECTIVE Studies of soldiers from prior wars conducted many years after combat have shown associations between combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical health problems. The current Iraq war has posed a considerable PTSD risk, but the association with physical health has not been well studied. METHOD The authors studied 2,863(More)
OBJECTIVES Pediatric chronic physical illness and adult psychiatric disorders are substantial sources of burden for family care-takers, but little attention has been paid to parental burden resulting from children's or adolescents' psychiatric disorders. This paper describes the predictors of perceived parental burden and its impact on the use of specialty(More)
BACKGROUND Previous studies have shown a relationship between childhood adversity and health outcomes in adulthood. The military represents a segment of the young working population that faces unique hazards that may be worsened by previous adverse life experiences. To date, no comprehensive studies of childhood adversity have been conducted with military(More)
OBJECTIVE Epidemiological studies have shown that mental disorders are associated with reduced health-related quality of life, high levels of health care utilization, and work absenteeism. However, measurement of the burden of mental disorders by using population-based methods in large working populations, such as the U.S. military, has been limited. (More)
Military spouses must contend with unique issues such as a mobile lifestyle, rules and regulations of military life, and frequent family separations including peacekeeping and combat deployments. These issues may have an adverse effect on the health of military spouses. This study examined the mental health status, rates of care utilization, source of care,(More)
OBJECTIVE A recent study showed that among U.S. military personnel, mental disorders were the leading medical correlate of separation from military service. The reasons for this association have not been determined. The purpose of this study was to characterize the risk and reasons for service separation for soldiers hospitalized with mental disorders(More)
The objectives of this study were to generate precise estimates of suicide rates in the military while controlling for factors contributing to rate variability such as demographic differences and classification bias, and to develop a simple methodology for the determination of statistically derived thresholds for detecting significant rate changes. Suicide(More)
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and correlates (demographic, personality, and academic) of former latchkey status (children unsupervised by an adult after school during their elementary or middle school years) in a college student sample (N = 188). A clear operational definition of latchkey status was provided. Students were surveyed(More)
Among the 1.4 million active duty U.S. military service members, 6% receive outpatient treatment for a mental disorder each year. Over 25% of these service members leave military service within 6 months, a rate that is more than two times higher than the rate following treatment for any other illness category. There is clearly a need to define psychiatric(More)