Since October 2001, over 2 million U.S. military personnel have deployed to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan—at least 1 in 5 have PTSD. These service-members have experienced long deployments with relatively sustained periods of combat exposure. In many case, this scenario is repeated multiple times. What is the psychological impact of combat exposure on military service-members? Much research has focused on PTSD and other negative outcomes, with few studies of positive outcomes. Let’s examine a broader set of risk and protective factors with regard to the positive outcome of psychological well-being: PTSD symptoms, sleep problems, depression, self-regulation, autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, self-acceptance, relationships with others, marital satisfaction, and meaningfulness of service. To what extent does initial entry military training and follow-on military experience engender a mentalkevlar (a state of preparedness, readiness, and resilience that can protect one from negative sequelae when exposed to trauma) and does this risk engender an excessive level of self-regulation? Come explore the topic and contribute your ideas to improving the explanatory model of risk and protective factors.
IAP. Contemporary Military Topics. Psychological Impact of Combat Exposure (MIT students, staff, faculty and affiliates only)
Colonel, US Army
January 31, 2019
Building E40-496 (Pye Room)