McFadden: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: The Buffering Effects Of Unit Level Moderators On The Combat Exposure-Mental Health Relationship

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: The Buffering Effects Of Unit Level Moderators On The Combat Exposure-Mental Health Relationship

A Thesis Proposal Presentation by Anna McFadden

Wednesday, December 12th at 11:00am
Brackett 414

Committee: Dr. Thomas Britt (chair), Dr. Robert Sinclair, and Dr. Heidi Zinzow

Abstract: Combat exposure has been linked to various negative outcomes, both physical (e.g., severed limbs, decreased health behaviors, mild traumatic brain injury) and mental (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression, anxiety, substance abuse). Additionally, the military is limited in the ways in which it can protect service members from experiencing negative outcomes of war. The present study will examine how the unit-level variables of perceived organizational support, job self-efficacy, and morale moderate the relationship between combat exposure and depression and anxiety within the framework of the Soldier Adaptation Model. Soldiers who have previously deployed to Iraq for 15 months were surveyed at two time points (4 months and 10 months following return from deployment), allowing a longitudinal design to be employed. The current study is expected to show that unit-level perceived organizational support, job self-efficacy, and morale will each significantly attenuate the positive, individual-level relationships between combat exposure and the negative mental health outcomes of depression and anxiety. If unit-level variables do influence the stressor-strain relationship, effective interventions can be developed to decrease the negative effects experienced by soldiers.

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