The Impact of Patriotism, Morale, and Unit Cohesion on Mental Health in Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

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Abstract

One hundred seventy one veterans of Iraq and/or Afghanistan completed an Internet survey related to patriotism, unit cohesion, morale, and mental health symptoms. Participants completed several self-report measures including the PTSD Checklist–Military, the Hopkins Symptom Checklist–21, Deployment Social Support scale from the Deployment Risk and Resiliency Inventory, Patriotism Scale, and a morale item. The majority of participants were male and White. Results of hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated that higher levels of morale were associated with lower levels of PTSD symptoms. Younger age and higher morale also were associated with lower general psychological distress. Results indicate that morale may be an important factor to explore further in research and to promote within United States military structure.

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