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2011 HSR&D National Meeting Abstract

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2011 National Meeting

1071 — Psychometric Properties of a Measure of Post-Deployment Community Reintegration Difficulty

Sayer NA (Minneapolis COE), Frazier P (University of Minnesota), Orazem R (Minneapolis COE), Murdoch M (Minneapolis COE), Carlson K (Portland REAP), Gravely A (Minneapolis COE), Noorbaloochi S (Minneapolis COE)

Objectives:
Despite widespread focus on the reintegration needs of Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans, there are no validated measures of post-deployment community reintegration. This research describes the psychometric properties of a brief, self-report measure that we developed called the Military to Civilian Questionnaire (M2C-Q).

Methods:
M2C-Q items were selected based on prior research and piloted in 87 Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans. The final version consisted of 16 items assessing difficulty in social relations, productivity, community participation, perceived meaning in life, self-care, and leisure activities that are rated on a five-point Likert scale ranging from no to extreme difficulty and can be completed in 5 minutes. The M2C-Q was administered to a national sample of 754 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. We evaluated the psychometric properties of the M2C-Q in terms of factor structure, item characteristics, and reliability. To evaluate construct validity, we examined the association of the M2C-Q with other theoretically-related measures, including a measure of overall perceived community reintegration difficulty and screening measures of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), problem drinking, and overall mental health. Last, we examined associations with demographic variables.

Results:
Internal consistency of the M2C-Q was high (Chronbach’s alpha = .95) and item-total correlations were medium to high. Only the first factor had an eigenvalue greater than one, and the scree plot strongly suggested a one-factor solution. The first factor accounted for 90% of the common variance and factor loadings were generally high. We therefore concluded that items should be summed to yield a total score, with higher scores indicating greater community reintegration difficulty. As predicted, total scores were associated with global perceptions of overall community reintegration, probable PTSD and problem drinking, and overall mental health. M2C-Q scores did not differ by gender, age, or marital status. However, Veterans who were nonwhite, high school or less educated, or unemployed reported greater reintegration difficulty compared to other veterans.

Implications:
Findings offer preliminary support for the M2C-Q’s reliability and validity.

Impacts:
The M2C-Q fills a need for a measure of community reintegration difficulty among Veterans. The M2C-Q can easily be integrated into research protocols and health care settings.


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