Social Stability Can Combat Violence In Veterans

Jun 26, 2012

A new survey led by a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill professor counters some of the myths about what makes veterans violent.

Asma Khalid: Eric Elbogen is a professor at UNC and the lead researcher on this study. He says too often post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is used as the stock explanation for veteran violence.

Eric Elbogen: Certainly the media has covered a lot of instances of veterans coming home and being violent. And, often times, it's portrayed as veterans having episodes of PTSD, or it's that they've been in combat, multiple deployments."

But, Elbogen says it's not that simple.  He finds that veterans with stabilizing factors, such as a secure job, are 92 percent less likely to turn to violence than veterans who lack them. In fact, the survey shows that vets who were short on cash were more likely to turn to violence than veterans with PTSD.