Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Bonnie C. Nicholson

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Eric R. Dahlen

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Michael B. Madson

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Scott A. Cardin

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated a link between PTSD symptomatology (PTSS) and parenting stress in veterans. As the literature on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is increasing, there has been a call to identify variables which may contribute to positive outcomes in these service members (e.g., Cornum, Matthews, & Seligman, 2011). Hardiness is a personality variable that describes an individual’s sense of commitment, control, and challenge in light of life stress and has been identified as a protective factor against the development of psychological symptoms and parenting stress in combat veterans. Social support also seems to have benefits related to trauma sequelae and parenting stress, but its role in the context of recent service members’ post- deployment parenting stress has not yet been examined. The current study assessed the influence of PTSS, hardiness, and social support on parental stress among recent returnees of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Results supported hypotheses predicting an inverse relationship between hardiness and parental stress. Social support was found to mediate the relationship between PTSS and parental stress.

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