Relationships between learned helplessness, locus of control, child abuse histories, adult trauma exposure and subsequent PTSD symptom severity in a clinical sample of male Vietnam veterans were examined. Learned helplessness and external locus of control were not only reliably associated with each other, but also differentially associated with childhood abuse and PTSD symptom severity. Learned helplessness, in particular, evidenced significant relationships with both childhood trauma and current distress. Contrary to expectations, child abuse history was not reliably associated with combat-related PTSD. Overall results suggested that learned helplessness and external locus of control are correlated, but independent constructs with compelling links to adult psychopathology.