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Does perceived ostracism contribute to mental health concerns among veterans who have been deployed?


ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress-negative psychological experiences as a result of traumatic stressors-can hinder military veterans' reintegration into society and cause various mental health problems. Veterans need quality social relationships to facilitate reintegration and to cope with posttraumatic stress and related mental health problems; discrimination or other forms of interpersonal rejection can exacerbate these veterans' problems. Ostracism (i.e., being ignored and excluded) is a painful and psychologically distressing experience that may be one factor that contributes to the problems of veterans who are dealing with posttraumatic stress. To our knowledge, this connection has yet to be tested empirically. Thus, we investigated the correlation between posttraumatic stress, perceived ostracism, and other theoretically relevant variables (i.e., mental health problems, perceived social support, psychological need satisfaction) in a sample of veterans who have had at least one deployment. Our results provide preliminary empirical evidence suggesting that perceived ostracism may contribute to veteran' deployment-related psychological problems. Veterans' perceived ostracism correlated with psychological problems (i.e., posttraumatic stress symptoms, anxiety and psychological distress), and it explained additional variance in posttraumatic stress symptoms above and beyond common predictors of these symptoms (i.e., deployment stress, perceived military and civilian-based social support). Finally, perceived ostracism emerged as the most important predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms in a relative weights analysis.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6283591 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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