Date of Award

12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice

Committee Member

Bryan Miller, PhD, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Mellisa Vogel, PhD

Committee Member

Meghnaa Tallaragada, PhD

Abstract

With more soldiers returning home to the United States than any war era before, there is a need for research to understand military personnel’s mental health and how they use resources, like the Veteran’s Affairs and non-profit organizations. This study serves to further our understanding about service members’ knowledge on this subject. This study adds to the literature by conducting semi-structured interviews with 15 service members who had deployed on either United States military bases or ships, or peace-keeping missions, overseas after 9/11. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and thoroughly analyzed using a narrative approach. Five important themes emerged from the interviews: prevalence of mental health disorders, knowledge of disorders and resources, barriers to seeking help, types of resources available, and motivations to seek help. Although this study aimed to explicitly understand knowledge, the inductive research process produced four other themes that became pivotal in understanding why active soldiers and veterans were skeptical to seek help.

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