Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Teri Aronowitz

Second Advisor

Emily Jones

Third Advisor

Ling Shi


The number of women entering the military is expected to increase over the next ten years. Women can now serve in front line combat assignments. Prior to this policy, women veterans already faced challenges post deployment such as transitioning to civilian life and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This new policy can be seen as an additional stressor and can have a major impact on the healthcare of women veterans. PTSD affects veterans and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) needs to be prepared to deal with the multi-faceted needs of the predicted influx of women veterans. This was a secondary data analysis study using data from Project Veterans’ After-Discharge Longitudinal Registry (VALOR). The purpose of this research study is two-fold: to examine factors associated with PTSD and to examine role of social support on the relationship between PTSD and women’s family functionality. Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine the relationship between the variables of social support and PTSD. Women with PTSD can have challenging relationships with their family and the new policy allowing them to serve in front line assignments may increase these challenges.

Women veterans with PTSD do not differ from those without PTSD in education, household income, or religious service attendance. In this study, women with PTSD had a higher likelihood of experiencing depression and anxiety compared to women without PTSD. My hypothesis was supported in that social supports affects relationships among women veterans. Based on all relationships in this study (romantic, family, friend, parenting and self-care), women with PTSD have higher functional impairment than women without PTSD.


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