Original ArticlesCombat Experiences Link With Posttraumatic Growth Among Veterans Across Conflicts The Influence of PTSD and DepressionLaRocca, Michael A. PhD∗,†,‡; Avery, Timothy J. PsyD†,‡Author Information ∗Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama †War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System ‡Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California. Send reprint requests to Michael A. LaRocca, PhD, Department of Psychology, Virginia Military Institute, 302-B Carroll Hall, Lexington, VA 24450. E-mail: [email protected]. Michael A. LaRocca is now affiliated with the Department of Psychology, Virginia Military Institute. Timothy J. Avery is now affiliated with the National Center for PTSD, Dissemination and Training Division, VA Palo Alto Health Care System. This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, CA, and the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. The contents of this article do not represent the views of the US Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Government. This manuscript is based on data used in a doctoral dissertation. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: June 2020 - Volume 208 - Issue 6 - p 445-451 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001147 Buy Metrics Abstract Research has established posttraumatic growth as a potential outcome of highly stressful experiences such as combat. However, a deeper understanding of this relationship is needed to provide practical implications for clinical work and to influence new research directions. We examined the relation between combat experiences and posttraumatic growth along with its subscales, as well as the influence of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptom severity. The study contained a sample of 130 combat veterans representing a variety of deployment locations. Regression analysis revealed combat experiences to be associated with posttraumatic growth beyond the effect of age (β = 0.21; p = 0.014). In addition, the association between combat experiences and posttraumatic growth was most evident among those endorsing low levels of depression symptom severity (partial η squared = 0.07; p = 0.009). These results highlight the need to consider negative cognitions and other depressive symptoms as potential barriers to posttraumatic growth. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.