With an increasing number of veterans returning to civilian life after deployment in combat, it is important to analyze what challenges they face during reintegration, what resources assist them with coping with these challenges, and which of these resources they perceive as the most helpful. The literature indicates that the most common challenges faced by returning veterans are employment difficulties, family readjustment problems and mental health issues which are shown to be positively affected by the presence of social support networks (Burnell, Coleman, & Hunt, 2009). There exists a gap, however in the research regarding the extent to which each particular social support network affects veterans' reintegration. This qualitative study explored veterans' perceptions of the challenges faced during reintegration, and the social supports which assisted the most during the reintegration process in order to try to bridge the gap in the research. The findings indicate that veterans struggle the most with reconnecting emotionally with family and friends, managing strong emotions (such as anxiety and alienation), missing the military after discharge, and dealing with the negative effects of deployment on daily life (such as difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and difficulty finding employment). Unit support was overwhelmingly expressed as the most helpful social support, while family and friends were seen more as a challenge than a help. Many veterans went on to surround themselves with fellow veterans and/or join the reserves after their active duty was up.
If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs;Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Briggle, Leslie, "Veterans' perceptions of reintegration challenges and their most valuable social supports" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1387.