Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Postdeployment resilience as a predictor of mental health in operation enduring freedom/operation iraqi freedom returnees.

Eisen SV, Schultz MR, Glickman ME, Vogt D, Martin JA, Osei-Bonsu PE, Drainoni ML, Elwy AR. Postdeployment resilience as a predictor of mental health in operation enduring freedom/operation iraqi freedom returnees. American journal of preventive medicine. 2014 Dec 1; 47(6):754-61.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Much of the research on the impact of trauma exposure among veterans has focused on factors that increase risk for mental health problems. Fewer studies have investigated factors that may prevent mental health problems following trauma exposure. This study examines resilience variables as factors that may prevent subsequent mental health problems. PURPOSE: To determine whether military service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq who exhibit higher levels of resilience, including hardiness (encompassing control, commitment, and challenge), self-efficacy, and social support after returning from deployment are less vulnerable to subsequent mental health problems, alcohol, and drug use. METHODS: A national sample of 512 service members was surveyed between 3 and 12 months of return from deployment and 6-12 months later. Data were collected in 2008-2009 and analyzed in 2013. Regression analyses ascertained whether resilience 3-12 months after return predicted later mental health and substance problems, controlling for demographic characteristics, mental health, and risk factors, including predeployment stressful events, combat exposure, and others. RESULTS: Greater hardiness predicted several indicators of better mental health and lower levels of alcohol use 6-12 months later, but did not predict subsequent posttraumatic stress symptom severity. Postdeployment social support predicted better overall mental health and less posttraumatic stress symptom severity, alcohol, and drug use. CONCLUSIONS: Some aspects of resilience after deployment appear to protect returning service members from the negative effects of traumatic exposure, suggesting that interventions to promote and sustain resilience after deployment have the potential to enhance the mental health of veterans.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.