Transitioning from Combat to College: The Impact of Risk and Resilience Factors on Student Veterans

Sharon L Young, Fordham University

Abstract

Thousands of combat veterans have transitioned to college since the passing of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008. The transition from combat to college is a challenge for veterans, as the demands and structure of college differ so greatly from military life. Additionally, exposure to combat often has long lasting psychological repercussions on veterans, as they are more likely to experience PTSD and depression. There is a dearth of research on student veterans that examines the impact of deployment on their adjustment to college. This study examines the impact of three risk factors (pre-deployment risk factors, deployment length, and combat exposure) and two resilience factors (post-deployment social support and dispositional resiliency) for PTSD, depression, student stress, adjustment to college, and military to civilian adjustment. A series of hierarchical regressions were conducted to explain the mental health outcomes and adjustment to college. Combat exposure and post-deployment social support were significant predictors of PTSD. Dispositional resiliency was a significant predictor of depression. Both dispositional resiliency and post-deployment social support were significant predictor of student stress. However, only post-deployment social support was a significant predictor of adjustment to college. Perceived health was found to be a significant predictor for adjustment from military to civilian life. This study suggests that further research is needed to understand the role of resilience factors among student veterans.^

Subject Area

Social Work|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Young, Sharon L, "Transitioning from Combat to College: The Impact of Risk and Resilience Factors on Student Veterans" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3544993.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3544993

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