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Post-9/11 military veterans' adjustment to civilian life over time following separation from service

APA Citation:

Park, C. L., Sacco, S. J., Finkelstein-Fox, L., Sinnott, S. M., Scoglio, A. A. J., Lee, S. Y., Gnall, K. E., Mazure, C., Shirk, S. D., Hoff, R. A., & Kraus, S. W. (2021). Post-9/11 military veterans’ adjustment to civilian life over time following separation from service. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(9), 2077-209 5. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23144

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined Veterans’ (N = 402) experiences with separating from the military and transitioning into civilian life across five time points (i.e., recruitment, three- , six- , nine- , and twelvemonths). Changes in Veteran stressors (i.e., mental and physical health problems, employment issues, financial concerns, legal issues, difficulty accessing healthcare, and relationship loss) and psychosocial wellbeing (i.e., meaning in life, emotional and instrumental support, mental and physical health-related quality of life, as well as symptoms of posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and insomnia) were examined. The study also considered differences across demographic groups (e.g., gender, race, time since exit). In general, Veterans reported some reductions in stress and improvements in psychosocial wellbeing. Differences emerged across gender and race/ethnicity.

Focus:

Deployment
Mental health
Physical health
Veterans

Branch of Service:

Air Force
Army
Marine Corps
Navy
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Veteran

Subject Affiliation:

Veteran

Population:

Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)

Methodology:

Longitudinal Study
Quantitative Study

Authors:

Park, Crystal L., Sacco, Shane J., Finkelstein‐Fox, Lucy, Sinnott, Sinead M., Scoglio, Arielle A. J., Lee, Sharon Y., Gnall, Katherine E., Mazure, Carolyn., Shirk, Steven D., Hoff, Rani A., Kraus, Shane W.

Abstract:

Objectives: US military veterans face many challenges in transitioning to civilian life; little information is available regarding veterans' reintegration experiences over time. The current study characterized veterans' postdeployment stressful life events and concurrent psychosocial wellbeing over one year and determined how stressors and wellbeing differ by demographic factors. Methods: Recent Post‐911 veterans (n = 402) were assessed approximately every three months for 1 year. Participants were 60% men, primarily White (78%), and 12% Latinx; the average age was 36 years. Results: The frequency of stressful events decreased over time but was higher for men and minority‐race veterans (independent of time since separation). Veterans reported high mean levels of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and insomnia symptoms, which improved slightly over time. Minority‐race and Latinx veterans had higher symptom levels and slower rates of symptom reduction. Conclusion: Veterans remain distressed in their overall transition to civilian life. Interventions to promote resilience and help veterans manage readjustment to civilian life appear urgently needed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication
Featured Research

Author Affiliation:

Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, CLP
Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, SJS
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, LFF
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, SMS
Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research, Northeastern University, AAJS
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, SYL
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, KEG
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, CM
Division of Addiction, VISN1 New England MIRECC, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, SDS
Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, SWK

Keywords:

adjustment, military veterans, well being, civilians, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, transition

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

Sponsors:

Sponsor: US Department of Veterans Affairs, US; Grant Number: ZDA1; Other Details: CSR&D Grant

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