Aaron M. Eakman, Catherine Schelly, Kimberly L. Henry; Protective and Vulnerability Factors Contributing to Resilience in Post-9/11 Veterans With Service-Related Injuries in Postsecondary Education. Am J Occup Ther 2015;70(1):7001260010p1-7001260010p10. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2016.016519.
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© 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. To examine differences in psychosocial protective factors (social support, meaningful occupation, and academic self-efficacy) and health-related vulnerability factors (posttraumatic stress, depression, and somatic symptoms) contributing to resilience in post-9/11 veterans with service-related injuries and nonveterans in postsecondary education.
METHOD. A cross-sectional, matched-participants design using propensity score matching was used to test differences in mean levels of protective and vulnerability factors between injured veterans (n = 26) and nonveterans (n = 19); zero-order correlations explored relationships among study variables.
RESULTS. The veteran sample demonstrated lower levels of psychosocial protective factors and higher levels of health-related vulnerability factors compared with nonveterans (|0.49| to |1.56|). Psychosocial protective factors were consistently negatively associated with health-related vulnerability factors (−.27 to −.63).
CONCLUSION. Post-9/11 veterans with service-related injuries are at a substantial disadvantage in terms of resilience; lower protective factors and elevated vulnerability factors may increase their risk for poor campus integration and impede academic achievement.
Veterans with service-related injuries seeking postsecondary degrees may be at substantial risk of poor campus integration and limited academic achievement.
Occupational therapy is uniquely positioned to address this constellation of protective and vulnerability factors in resilience, thereby positively influencing the integration of veterans with service-related injuries into their local communities and college campuses.
Occupational therapy practice could address symptom remediation and compensation for occupational performance challenges and contribute to a multidisciplinary supported education team in postsecondary education environments.
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