Date of Paper

5-2018

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Melissa Lundquist

Department/School

Social Work

Abstract

Introduction: The Minnesota Warriors Hockey Program is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that assists wounded, injured, or otherwise disabled veterans of the U.S. Military in their reintegration process by administering a recreational ice hockey program for its participants in the wake of significant issues facing transitioning veterans, such as high rates of PTSD, suicide, divorce, substance use, unemployment, and homelessness.

Methods: Data was collected from a survey that was sent out to all registered participants in the Minnesota Warriors Hockey Program (N = 65). Instruments used in the study include the M2C-Q, an empirically validated psychometric measuring tool which assesses post-deployment difficulty. The research hypothesis for the study is that a statistically significant relationship exists between frequency of participation in the Minnesota Warriors Hockey Program and an improved level of self-reported post-military service reintegration. Multiple Independent Samples T-Tests were conducted to test the research hypothesis as well as other statistically significant variables. Qualitative questions assessed the specific aspects of the program that were the most important to respondents and self-reported improvement in post-military service functioning.

Results: The study found no statistically significant relationship between frequency of participation in the Minnesota Warriors Hockey Program and improved level of self-reported post-military service reintegration. Additional Independent Samples T-Tests indicated a possible trend of length of time in the program as having meaningful impact on an improved level of self-reported post-military service reintegration. In addition, the results indicate that gaps in participation and age of the participant have a statistically significant relationship with increased M2C-Q scale scores, specifically to making and keeping friends, both with and without military experience. Qualitative results indicated strong comradery and improvement in relationship functioning and perceived meaning and purpose in life as the most important aspects of the program.

Discussion: The results of this study have shown that participants in the Minnesota Warriors Hockey Program experience a strong sense of comradery and community with individuals who have similar military experiences. These results show the significant potential of program models like the Minnesota Warriors Hockey Program to assist veterans in their reintegration functioning by increasing the social support systems of disabled veterans. Longitudinal research on the program is needed to show improvements in post-military service reintegration functioning over time.

Available for download on Friday, July 12, 2019

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