This study conducted analysis on accounts from female veterans exploring how they experience the transition from a civilian identity, through military life and eventually move towards a veteran-civilian identity.
Female veterans, the fastest growing segment in the military, have unique pre-military histories and military experiences that are associated with post-military physical and mental health service needs. Successful treatment is contingent on a clearer understanding of the processes underlying these experiences. Data from 20 female veterans who served post–Gulf War were analyzed to generate a substantive theory of the process of women who entered, served in, and transitioned out of the military. Coping with transitions emerged as the basic psychosocial process used by female veterans. The Coping with transitions process is comprised of seven categories: Choosing the Military, Adapting to the Military, Being in the Military, Being a Female in the Military, Departing the Military, Experiencing Stressors of Being a Civilian, and Making Meaning of Being a Veteran-Civilian. The results of this study provide a theoretical description of the process female veterans experience when transitioning from a civilian identity, through military life stressors and adaptations, toward gaining a dual identity of being a veteran-civilian.
Burkhart, L. and Hogan, N., 2015. Being a Female Veteran: A Grounded Theory of Coping With Transitions. Social Work in Mental Health, 13(2), pp. 108-127.