Five years of support are requested through the RFA entitled Family and Dyadic Focused Interventions to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence (U49). The purpose of the proposed project is to develop and test a couples based relationship enhancement group intervention for married or partnered Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans to prevent the perpetration of intimate partner aggression (IPA). This intervention will incorporate components of several interventions for PTSD and IPA and will target mechanisms implicated in the PTSD-IPA association. The intervention approach has been labeled PTSD Focused Relationship Enhancement Therapy (PF-RET). Participants will be randomly assigned to receive PFRET for supportive therapy (ST), both in a conjoint group format, and will be followed for 12 months post-intervention. Consistent with recommendations for the prevention of mental health problems (Mrazek & Haggerty, 1994), the intervention will target empirically-supported risk factors implicated in the development of IPA (proximal targets) to prevent IPA (distal targets). Specifically, the proximal targets of PF-RET include PTSD symptoms, anger, social problem solving skills, anger-related cognitive distortions, relationship satisfaction, generalized aggression, and conflicts related to power in relationships. The distal targets of the intervention include reduced incidence and frequency of intimate partner physical assault and psychological aggression. Participants will consist of 400 couples that are at risk for the development of IPA due to the presence of a male in the couple with PTSD, as well as high levels of marital distress. However, consistent with a secondary prevention approach (National Advisory Mental Health Council Workgroup on Mental Disorders Prevention Research, 1998), participants will be excluded on the basis of histories of IPA.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)
Coop: Injury Control Res. and Demo and Injury Prevention (U49)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCE1-FXR (02))
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Boston VA Research Institute, Inc.
United States
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Babson, Kimberly A; Feldner, Matthew T (2010) Temporal relations between sleep problems and both traumatic event exposure and PTSD: a critical review of the empirical literature. J Anxiety Disord 24:1-15
Babson, Kimberly A; Trainor, Casey D; Feldner, Matthew T et al. (2010) A test of the effects of acute sleep deprivation on general and specific self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms: an experimental extension. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry 41:297-303
Bunaciu, Liviu; Feldner, Matthew T; Blumenthal, Heidemarie et al. (2010) A test of the relations between avoidance of panic-related situations and substance use, substance dependence, and depression among subclinical panickers. Behav Res Ther 48:158-63
Smith, Rose C; Blumenthal, Heidemarie; Badour, Christal et al. (2010) An investigation of relations between crystal methamphetamine use and posttraumatic stress disorder. Addict Behav 35:625-7
Feldner, Matthew T; Smith, Rose C; Babson, Kimberly A et al. (2009) Test of the role of nicotine dependence in the relation between posttraumatic stress disorder and panic spectrum problems. J Trauma Stress 22:36-44
Babson, Kimberly A; Feldner, Matthew T; Trainor, Casey D et al. (2009) An experimental investigation of the effects of acute sleep deprivation on panic-relevant biological challenge responding. Behav Ther 40:239-50
Feldner, Matthew T; Leen-Feldner, Ellen W; Trainor, Casey et al. (2008) Smoking and posttraumatic stress symptoms among adolescents: does anxiety sensitivity matter? Addict Behav 33:1470-6
Leen-Feldner, Ellen W; Blumenthal, Heidemarie; Babson, Kimberly et al. (2008) Parenting-related childhood learning history and panic vulnerability: a test using a laboratory-based biological challenge procedure. Behav Res Ther 46:1009-16
Feldner, Matthew T; Zvolensky, Michael J; Babson, Kimberly et al. (2008) An integrated approach to panic prevention targeting the empirically supported risk factors of smoking and anxiety sensitivity: theoretical basis and evidence from a pilot project evaluating feasibility and short-term efficacy. J Anxiety Disord 22:1227-43
Leen-Feldner, Ellen W; Feldner, Matthew T; Reardon, Laura E et al. (2008) Anxiety sensitivity and posttraumatic stress among traumatic event-exposed youth. Behav Res Ther 46:548-56

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