EMPLOYMENT / EDUCATION / TRAINING

Do military veteran and civilian students function differently in college?

Article

The authors sought to assess military veterans’ functioning in college by comparing their experience with that of civilian students. Students, both SSM/V and civilian, with past exposure to a potentially traumatic event fit in worse than students without such exposure. Past exposure to trauma was associated with poorer emotional adjustment in civilian students, but not in SSM/V.

Abstract

Objective: The authors sought to assess military veterans' functioning in college by comparing their experience with that of civilian students. Participants: The study, conducted from April 2012 to February 2013, included 445 civilian and 61 student service member/veteran (SSM/V) undergraduates, drawn from a community college and two 4-year Catholic colleges, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Methods: Participants completed anonymous online surveys. Six areas of functioning in transition to college were examined: Health, Fitting In, Emotional Adjustment, Productivity, Perceived Career Support, and Social Engagement. Results: Students, both SSM/V and civilian, with past exposure to a potentially traumatic event fit in worse than students without such exposure. Past exposure to trauma was associated with poorer emotional adjustment in civilian students, but not in SSM/V. Conclusions: Implications of results were discussed.

Full Reference

Smith, J.G., Vilhauer, R.P., Chafos, V., 2017. Do military veteran and civilian students function differently in college? Journal of American College Health, 65(1), pp.76-79.