Childhood traumas more common in military members

CHICAGO (AP) — A new study says childhood traumas are more common among military members and veterans than among civilians. The authors say the results support the idea that enlistment sometimes serves as an escape from troubled upbringings.

The study is the largest to examine how common bad childhood experiences are among military men and women. Disparities were most striking among men during the volunteer era: More than 25 percent had experienced at least four childhood traumas, versus about 13 percent of civilian men.

The events included unwanted sexual contact, exposure to domestic violence, household drug use and parents' divorce. These can sometimes lead to later mental health issues that have been seen in the U.S. military. But the study lacks information on the adults' mental health.

The results were published online Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

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