Deployment Experiences, Social Support, and Mental Health: Comparison of Black, White, and Hispanic U.S. Veterans Deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq

Citation:

Muralidharan, Anjana, David Austern, Samantha Hack, and Dawne Vogt. 2016. “Deployment Experiences, Social Support, and Mental Health: Comparison of Black, White, and Hispanic U.S. Veterans Deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 29 (3): 273–78. doi:10.1002/jts.22104.

Authors: David Austern, Samantha Hack, Anjana Muralidharan, Dawne Vogt

Abstract:

Compared to their White counterparts, Black and Hispanic Vietnam-era, male, combat veterans in the United States have experienced discrimination and increased trauma exposure during deployment and exhibited higher rates of postdeployment mental health disorders. The present study examined differences in deployment experiences and postdeployment mental health among male and female Black, Hispanic, and White veterans deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Data were drawn from a national survey of veterans (N = 924) who had returned from deployment within the last 2 years. Ethnoracial minority veterans were compared to White veterans of the same gender on deployment experiences and postdeployment mental health. The majority of comparisons did not show significant differences; however, several small group differences did emerge (.02 < η2 < .04). Ethnoracial minority veterans reported greater perceived threat in the warzone and more family-related concerns and stressors during deployment than White veterans of the same gender. Minority female veterans reported higher levels of postdeployment symptoms of anxiety than their White counterparts, which were accounted for by differences in deployment experience. These differences call for ongoing monitoring.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Gender Analysis, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Race Regions: Africa, MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2016

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