Posttraumatic stress disorder and alcohol dependence: Individual and combined associations with social network problems

Courtney E. Dutton, Thomas Adams, Sarah Bujarski, Christal L. Badour, Matthew T. Feldner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


People with either posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or alcohol dependence (AD) are apt to report problems in their social networks, including low perceived support and elevated conflict. However, little research has examined social networks among people with comorbid PTSD/AD despite evidence suggesting these two conditions commonly co-occur and are linked to particularly severe problems. To test the hypothesis that people with comorbid PTSD/AD experience particularly elevated social network problems, individuals with lifetime diagnoses of PTSD, AD, comorbid PTSD/AD, or no lifetime history of Axis I psychopathology in the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication were compared on four dimensions of social networks: (1) Closeness, (2) Conflict, (3) Family Support, and (4) Apprehension. Persons with PTSD, AD, or comorbid PTSD/AD endorsed more problems with the Conflict, Family Support, and Apprehension factors compared to people with no history of Axis I psychopathology. Moreover, individuals with comorbid PTSD/AD endorsed greater Apprehension and significantly less Family Support compared to the other three groups. Results suggest people with comorbid PTSD/AD experience increased problems with their family as well as greater concerns about enlisting social support than even people with PTSD or AD alone. Treatments for people suffering from comorbid PTSD/AD should consider assessing for and possibly targeting family support and apprehension about being close to others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Alcohol dependence
  • PTSD
  • Social conflict
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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