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Pre-Deployment Stress, Mental Health, and Help-Seeking Behaviors Among Marines

Pre-Deployment Stress, Mental Health, and Help-Seeking Behaviors Among Marines

Carrie M. Farmer
Christine Anne Vaughan
Jeffrey Garnett
Robin M. Weinick
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
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  • Book Info
    Pre-Deployment Stress, Mental Health, and Help-Seeking Behaviors Among Marines
    Book Description:

    As part of an evaluation of the Marine Corps Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) program, this report describes the methods and findings of a large survey of marines who were preparing for a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan in 2010 or 2011. The results are among the first to shed light on the pre-deployment mental health status of marines, as well as the social resources they draw on when coping with stress and their attitudes about seeking help for stress-related problems.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8385-2
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Technology, Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    Despite the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and the end of the war in Iraq in 2011, U.S. military forces have been engaged in extended conflicts over the past decade, causing service members and their families to face extended deployments and exposure to combat or other stressful situations. While most military personnel and their families cope well with these stressors, many experience difficulties handling stress at some point. Over the past several years, the Department of Defense (DoD) has implemented numerous programs that address these issues by building resilience, preventing stress-related problems, and identifying and treating such problems. To understand...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Background
    (pp. 3-12)

    This report provides information about the mental health of a large group of marines prior to deployment, as well as risk factors that may be associated with potential mental health problems. Despite the large number of studies about the mental health of service members in the post-deployment period, the contribution of pre-deployment characteristics to mental health problems that occur during and after a deployment remains poorly understood. In this chapter, we review what is known about stress and mental health problems among service members, highlight gaps in existing knowledge, and discuss how our analysis is intended to help fill those...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Methods
    (pp. 13-18)

    The pre-deployment survey of marines that is the focus of this report was part of a quasi-experimental study designed to determine whether marines in OSCAR-trained battalions fare better in terms of stress and health-related outcomes from pre- to post-deployment relative to marines from non–OSCAR-trained battalions. The overall evaluation was longitudinal and included a post-deployment survey to assess the effects of the OSCAR program. Results of the complete longitudinal evaluation will be presented in a subsequent report.

    We followed a two-stage sampling procedure. First, we sampled seven Marine Corps battalions, including three service support battalions and four infantry battalions. Our...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Results
    (pp. 19-34)

    In this chapter, we first describe the characteristics of the survey respondents and then present the results of our analysis in four areas: the estimated prevalence of mental health and stress conditions among marines prior to deployment; lifetime history of exposure to potentially traumatic events; the use of help-seeking resources and strategies for coping with stress; and attitudes toward stress response and recovery.

    To determine how closely our sample resembled the larger population of active-duty and reservist marines that our survey findings were intended to generalize, we obtained administrative data from DMDC on the entire population of marines of rank...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 35-40)

    The results of this survey provide both a baseline picture to permit assessment of the effects of the OSCAR program, as well as an understanding of the overall mental health needs of marines, which is necessary for ensuring that adequate resources are available to support this population. Other RAND research has found that DoD lacks a needs assessment that addresses psychological health among the populations targeted by its programs (Weinick et al., 2011). Our findings help address that gap by identifying the magnitude of observed pre-deployment mental health challenges among marines. In this chapter, we summarize key findings and provide...

  14. APPENDIX A Description of the OSCAR Program and RAND’s Evaluation
    (pp. 41-46)
  15. APPENDIX B Additional Methodological Detail
    (pp. 47-54)
  16. APPENDIX C. Additional Results Tables
    (pp. 55-68)
  17. References
    (pp. 69-73)