Home Front: Post-Deployment Mental Health and Divorces
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA CENTER FOR MILITARY HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH
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Since 2003 about 14 percent of U.S. Army soldiers have been reporting symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder PTSD following deployments. The objective of this study is to examine how symptoms of PTSD or of other mental health symptoms are correlated with the probability of divorce among married active duty Army soldiers. For this purpose, we combine Army administrative individual level longitudinal data on soldiers deployments, marital history and socio demographic characteristics with the soldiers self reported post-deployment health information, available in the Post Deployment Health Assessment PDHA and Post Deployment Health Re Assessment PDHRA forms. Our estimates indicate that time spent in deployment is associated with an increase in the divorce risk among Army enlisted personnel and that PTSD symptoms are associated with further increases in the odds of divorce. Although officers are generally less likely to screen positive for PTSD than enlisted personnel, we find a stronger association between PTSD symptoms and divorces among Army officers who are PTSD symptomatic. This document should be of interest to policy makers and manpower analysts who are interested in supporting families in order to sustain readiness, morale, and family well being.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations