256255 Anger problems in United States Military service members: A mixed methods approach

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Miranda E. Worthen, AB, MPhil, PhD , Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Since September 11, 2001, nearly 2 million service members have deployed in support of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Research with veterans of earlier conflicts suggests that anger may be a substantial problem for these service members, however there has been very little research on this problem to date. This study used a mixed methods approach to assess the scope of anger problems among service members and to understand how anger problems impact reintegration into civilian life. Quantitative methods drew on a population-based survey of current National Guard and Reserves to examine the prevalence of anger problems in these service members and associated risk factors. Qualitative, in depth interviews with recently separated California veterans were used to examine the impact of anger on veterans lives. Anger was reported by half of service members in the quantitative study. Service members who screened positive for PTSD were almost twice as likely to report problems with anger as service members not screening positive for PTSD. Men and women reported a similar prevalence of anger. Qualitative results showed that anger negatively impacts veterans' experiences in multiple social environments including experiences with family and friends, at work, school, and in the community. There were gender differences in the ways that veterans reported anger problems were perceived by family and friends with anger being deemed less acceptable for women than men. These results suggest that anger is an important problem facing service members and veterans.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the scope of anger problems in service members who have deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Examine how anger problems impact reintegration into civilian life. Assess whether there are differences between men and women in the prevalence of anger problems and how these problems impact reintegration.

Keywords: Veterans, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research
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.