238296 Protective factors, psychopathology, and military personnel

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sherrie Wilcox, PhD , Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Family, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Researchers criticizes that focusing on the network structure, rather than the protective impact of perceptions and functions of support, shows that social support can be protective against mental health outcomes, but not how mental health outcomes can be protected against by social support.

This study will map out the social network among Marines and assess protective sources of support. The focus of this study is assessing factors that protect against mental health outcomes among Marines. This study will expand on the simple cause and effect relationships by explicitly testing protective elements and processes of the causal model. The following questions will be addressed:

* Do military personnel differentiate between the protective factors by the distinct sources of support? In what way are the sources of support differentiated?

* Which sources of social support protect against negative mental health outcomes that may result from stress?

* How does stress influence mental health through each source of social support?

To answer the research questions, this study will use a cross-sectional survey design and assess 350 active-duty Marines. Moderation and mediation models will be tested. Results will provide much needed insight on the military personnel's mental health outcomes and social network, and will provide preliminary insight on the protective factors of social support against mental health outcomes. This research can lead to development and application of behavioral theories to improve mental health outcomes. Results of this study can also suggest modifications to existing mental health interventions that need to be made.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
* Describe and differentiate sources of support that protect against mental health outcomes among military personnel * Discuss potential protective pathways in the stress - mental health relationship * Discuss future intervention opportunities to protect against mental health problems among military personnel

Keywords: Veterans' Health, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am a doctoral candidate who has been researching mental health and social relationships among military personnel.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.