Author

Susana Ochoa

Publication Date

2009

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department

School for Social Work

Keywords

Hispanic American veterans-Mental health, Iraq War, 2003- Veterans-Mental health services, Afghan War, 2001- Veterans-Mental health services, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Latino, Hispanic, Military, Veterans, OEF, OIF, Deployment, Readjustment, Post deployment

Abstract

There are a growing number of service members being deployed and sent to war, heightening the need to explore and address the concerns of U.S. military veterans. Current research on post deployed military veterans is limited by the lack of an equal representation of ethnic minorities in their study populations. This exploratory study attempted to investigate how Hispanic/Latino U.S. military veterans who deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, were readjusting to life post deployment. This study used an online survey consisting of demographic questions and the Post Deployment Readjustment Inventory (Katz, in press). A purposive sample of 15 participants, who identified as Hispanic/Latino veterans who deployed to OEF or OIF completed the anonymous survey. Results suggest that overall Hispanic/Latino veterans were adjusting to civilian life with "moderate" difficulty. A particularly problematic area for this study population was Social Readjustment. A central limitation of this exploratory study was the small sample size and as a result it lacks of external validity. However, the fact that Hispanic/Latino veterans were found to have the greatest level of difficulty in the realm of "social readjustment" raises questions for future research about how the trauma of deployment while in the armed forces, is potentially exacerbated by the societal oppression one faces as an ethnic/racial minority in our culture. This exploratory study will hopefully illuminate the need for future research on Hispanic/Latino veterans in an effort to address all of the biopsychosocial concerns of this vulnerable population.

Language

English

Comments

v, 83 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 65-68)