“Gender differences in combat-related stressors and their association with postdeployment mental health in a nationally representative sample of U.S. OEF/OIF veterans” by Dawne Vogt, Rachel Vaughn, Mark E. Glickman, Mark Schultz, Mari-Lynn Drainoni, Rani Elwyn, and Susan Eisen published in The Journal Of Abnormal and Social Psychology questions the truth behind the statement that female service members are more vulnerable to trauma after combat exposure. The study focuses on troops from the United States who have returned from combat in Afghanistan or Iraq in the last year to examine the level of trauma each gender of service member experiences in postdeployment ultimately to establish whether or not there is a gender difference between the demonstration of traumatic symptoms. Despite the claim that women are more susceptible to trauma there is very little evidence to inform on the extent of the difference between the genders in their demonstration of the effects of trauma.
The sample of 2,000 OEF/OIF service members was collect with the use of a national stratified random sample selected from the Defense Manpower Data Center. The sample is made up of 50% active duty personnel, 25% National Guard personnel, and 25% Reserve Forces personnel with exactly 50% of each group being female. From this roster 1,833 of the selected 2,000 were eligible to participate in the survey. A total of 595 surveys were completed and returned, equalling a final sample of 340 women and 252 men (3 surveys were eliminated due to difficulty classifying them in the database). Once the sample was built, letters were sent to the eligible individuals to notify them the survey would be sent to them in a couple of weeks and included ...
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...at and sexual harassment were found to be positively correlated with depression and aftermath of battle is positively related to substance abuse.
In my opinion the experiment is a good analysis of the gender difference between military personnel’s combat stressors and associations with mental health because it used the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory (King, King, Vogt, 20013) which is a tested and well respected measure. The study also makes sure to weight for nonresponse bias as well as examining not only the differences between the genders but the whole group as a whole to give a holistic view of the overall effects of military personnel. The study could be improved if it had used a larger sample and if they had examine certain sections of the army singularly to see if there are significant differences between station, occupation, and rank.
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