Coping, Family Social Support, and Psychological Symptoms Among Student Veterans

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Abstract

With rising numbers of student veterans on today's college campuses, multicultural competence in college counseling centers increasingly includes an understanding of military culture and its relation to the psychological health and functioning of student veterans. Research on interpersonal and intrapersonal factors associated with college student veterans' mental health is scarce. The current study examines the contributions of coping style and family social support on symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress in a student veteran sample. We also tested the moderating role of family social support in the relationship between coping style and psychological symptoms. Data from 136 student veterans were analyzed by using path analysis. Results revealed that avoidant coping and family social support significantly predicted depressive and anxiety symptoms. Avoidant coping also significantly predicted posttraumatic stress symptoms. In addition, findings indicated that family social support moderated the relationship between problem-focused coping and depression, as well as between avoidant coping and symptoms of anxiety and depression but not posttraumatic stress. Implications of results for college and university counselors are discussed.

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