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Comment & Response
March 2015

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Military Service

Author Affiliations
  • 1Behavioral Health Division, Office of the Army Surgeon General, Falls Church, Virginia
  • 2Center for Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland
JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(3):296. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2474

To the Editor The article by Blosnich et al1 on the association of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with military service perpetuates the common and damaging stereotype that individuals who serve in the US military are more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds than those who have never served. Despite the authors’ recommendation for balanced messaging, their conclusion that military enlistment may serve as an “escape from adversity” or “a route for a subset of persons to escape dysfunctional home environments” is an ill-advised sweeping generalization.

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