Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Kymberle Sterling

Second Advisor

Dr. Ike Okosun

Third Advisor

Dr. Frances McCarty

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Soldiers face extraordinary circumstances while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Soldiers are required at times to live away from family and friends for extended periods of time and work in hazardous environments. Once soldiers become veterans, the experiences of military life may continue to affect them long after their duties have been carried out. These conditions put them at greater risk for alcohol misuse and depression. The purpose of this is to determine whether there is an association between alcohol misuse and depression symptomology among males who have a history of service in the U.S. Armed Forces. METHODS: Secondary data from NHANES 2005-2008 were used to analyze 1,381 men who expressed alcohol misuse and depressive symptomology. Chi-square tests were used to attain descriptive frequencies for alcohol misuse and depressive symptomology and demographic factors. Binary logistic regression was used for univariate and multivariate to test for associations between alcohol misuse, depressive symptomology, and demographic variables. RESULTS: Alcohol misuse and depressive symptomology were significantly associated with male veterans with a history of service in the Armed Forces, p= .041. Age (p< .001), race (p< .05) marital status (p<.05), and educational attainment (p< .01) are the best predictors of alcohol misuse among male veterans. Similarly, depressive symptomology had the same predictors as alcohol misuse, except race. CONCLUSIONS: The complex relationship between alcohol misuse and depressive symptomology among male veterans warrants further research. Public health professionals need to clearly establish standard measurement instruments for diagnosing these conditions. Once established, appropriate interventions can be implemented in order to combat these alcohol misuse and depressive symptomology among male veterans. INDEX WORDS: alcohol misuse, depressive symptomology, military, veterans

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