Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to learn the effects of multiple, combat-related military deployments upon post traumatic stress symptoms. This subject has particular importance given that the protracted conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fought by a military that is much smaller than in previous wars. A review of the literature showed that the effects of combat related deployments on post traumatic stress symptoms are significant. The impact is felt by both the veterans and their families. This has implications for clinical social workers working in systems that provide treatment and services for veterans and families affected.

This was a qualitative study. Interviews were conducted with seven subjects, all of whom are credentialed at the level of either Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker or Licensed Psychologist. The interviews concerned the post traumatic stress symptoms of those clients for whom each clinician has provided treatment that has experienced multiple combat-related military deployments. The data was analyzed and four themes were noted with respect to the effect of multiple deployments on post traumatic stress symptoms: 1) effect on emotional arousal, 2) distinguishing aspects of multiple deployments, 3) effect on relationships and 4) self-destructive behavior. Issues of dysregulation of emotional arousal and negative impact on families also emerged in the literature review.

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