Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

College of Social Work

Sub-Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Arlene Bowers Andrews

Abstract

Multilevel random coefficient modeling was employed to explore the moderation effects of unit stabilization on post-deployment coping among Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans. Based on survey data collected on 3,832 U.S. Army soldiers belonging to 55 companies, unit-level variables were constructed and subsequent analysis was performed on only those unit members who had deployed (n = 2,507). This study found that among soldiers who had recently deployed with their current Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and who remained stabilized within their current company for a period at least as great as the post-deployment survey interval (i.e., ¡Ý 6 months at T1; ¡Ý 12 months at T2), unit stabilization had both main and cross-level moderation effects on the combat exposure¡ªdepression symptoms relationship among soldiers who experienced low levels of combat exposure (i.e., 1SD below the mean). Similarly, cross-level moderation effects were detected for unit stabilization on the combat exposure¡ªanxiety symptoms relationship, but only for those units experiencing low levels of combat exposure. Unit stabilization effects were detected for post-traumatic stress symptoms, but only at six months post-deployment. Finally, two social constructs (i.e., unit cohesion and unit readiness) were evaluated for their ability to predict psychological strain symptoms separate from and in combination with the dominant variant of four unit stabilization measurement approaches. Unit readiness was found to have a three-way interaction effect with unit stabilization and combat exposure on mean levels of PTS symptoms at six months post-deployment.

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