This research will examine the impact of never being deployed and separation from the military on substance use outcomes for both soldiers and their spouses.
Substance abuse is one of the most common health problems among military personnel overall and tends to be even higher among reservists compared to active duty. Research on the military has focused on the effects of deployment and combat, yet a significant proportion of reserve soldiers are never deployed. Deployment is an important part of soldier identity; therefore, non-deployment may contribute to feelings of guilt and decreased connectedness with one's unit, which, in turn, can increase risk for negative outcomes. Separation from the military can also be stressful for service members and their spouses, and may contribute to increased substance use.
This grant will examine longitudinal changes in substance use (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD)) related to under-examined military experiences: a) never being deployed and b) the transition to civilian life following separation from the military. It will also examine how changes in substance use interact with these under- examined experiences to influence intimate partner relationship functioning (verbal, physical and sexual intimate partner violence, and marital satisfaction).
Gregory G. Homish, PhD
Department of Community Health and Health Behavior
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)