Post-Deployment Social Support and Social Conflict in Female Military Veterans


Name: Ann Marie Nayback-Beebe

Rank: LTC

Organization: The University of Texas at Austin

Performance Site: Headquarters, United States Army Garrison, Ft Campbell, KY; University of Texas at Austin, TX

Year Published: 2009

Abstract Status: Final


Purpose: To examine the extent to which the absence or presence of social support, social conflict, and stressful life events contributed to the severity of depression, PTSD, anxiety, and alcohol abuse symptoms in active duty female service members (FSMs) 6-12 months post-deployment from Iraq.

Design: Descriptive, correlational, cross-sectional design 

Methods: Data were collected using the following instruments: Deployment Risk and Resiliency Post-deployment Stressors Subscale; Prime MD® Depression, Anxiety, and Alcohol Abuse Modules; Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Military Version; Interpersonal Relationships Inventory-Short Form; and Health and Social History Questionnaire. 

Sample: The sample consisted of 150 active duty FSMs stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 

Analysis: Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlations, and hierarchical linear regression 

Findings: Significant group differences between the officer and enlisted FSMs emerged for several key variables; therefore, the sample was divided into two groups based on rank.  After controlling for the influence of co-morbid mental health symptoms, hierarchical linear regression of the enlisted FSM group (n = 137) showed that the absence of social support contributed most to depression symptom severity in this sample of FSMs.  In contrast, the presence of social conflict and post-deployment stressful life events contributed most to greater PTSD symptom severity.  B the presence of social conflict and the absence of social support contributed to the severity of anxiety symptoms; however, the presence of social conflict had a stronger relationship with anxiety symptom severity than the absence of social support in the final model.  

Implications for Military Nursing: By understanding the unique contributions of social support, social conflict, and stressful life events to the mental health of FSMs during the post-deployment period, military mental health nurses can provide diagnosis-specific interventions to mitigate sources of conflict, assist with the resolution of stressful life events, and bolster social support to improve mental health outcomes.


Final Report is available on NTRL at: