An evaluation of veteran to civilian reintegration stressors, co-occurrence, and perception of procedure

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Caitlin Georgina Stone (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Advisor
Jamie Vaske

Abstract: Though the majority of veterans are able to reintegrate into civilian society without incident, a portion of the population does experience mild to severe stressors such as mental health disorders, suicide risk, incarceration, substance abuse and dependence, interpersonal relationships and readjustment, workplace difficulties, and sleep disturbance (Blow et al., 2013; Bonanno et al., 2012; Haller, Angkaw, Hendricks & Norman, 2016; Sayer et al., 2010; Short et al., 2016). Unfortunately, the current literature focuses on only one or two stressors, and rarely acknowledges all stressors as they coexist among the veteran population. The current study will focus on all prevalent reintegration stressors, and the relationship they may have for veterans. More specifically, the study will identify: (1) which reintegration stressors are more prevalent than others, (2) which co-occur with other stressors, and (3) the perception of the reintegration process. A sample of 31 veterans completed a comprehensive questionnaire that assessed these reintegration stressors; frequencies and Spearman’s r correlations were conducted to evaluate the previously mentioned relationships. Many of the veterans experienced each of the reintegration stressors measured, at varying degrees. More veterans experienced at least one mental health diagnosis, but there were many who experienced more than one. Almost half of the sample had thought about suicide, and almost 20 percent had made a plan. A large portion of the veterans in this sample experienced relationship difficulties as well as interpersonal difficulties. The overall co-occurrence of reintegration stressors are consistent with the previous literature, providing more insight into what has been previously found. In regard to veteran perception of the process, several themes emerged including: difficulty finding a “tribe”, adjusting to the loose structure of civilian life, lack of a marketable trade, and difficulties with mental health issues. These findings demonstrate a deep need to re-evaluate the reintegration process and increase the number of programs and support systems available to veterans after leaving the military.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2018
Keywords
mental health, reintegration, veteran

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