Comparing Work-Related Correlates of Life Satisfaction for Combat Versus Non-Combat Military Veterans
- Gary Blau
- Glen Miller
AbstractMilitary veterans (n = 153) completed an on-line survey and were broken down into combat (n = 92) versus non-combat (n = 61) veterans. The combat veterans had higher life satisfaction, perceived occupational alternatives, and education level versus the non-combat veterans. Looking at correlates to life satisfaction, for both samples number of prior traumatic events (negative) and personal accomplishment (positive) were significantly related. In addition, for the combat veterans, highest education level and perceived occupational alternatives were significantly related to life satisfaction. A high percentage of both combat and non-combat veterans were currently going to school to further their education. Working with employed combat and non-combat veterans, those currently going to school to further their education had higher perceived occupational alternatives than veterans not going back. Working with a smaller group of combat versus non-combat respondents who did volunteer work, the non-combat veterans were higher on perceived meaningfulness of volunteer work than the combat veterans. Returning to school can be one way to help military veterans find rewarding meaningful work, through perceived occupational alternatives, which can help to increase their life satisfaction. If increased education is not an option, volunteer work may also lead to higher perceived meaningful work. As veterans transition from military to civilian life, military out-processing should continue to counsel/prepare transitioning veterans for: finding/interviewing for jobs as well as realistic new careers; identifying meaningful voluntary work opportunities; or finding resources for furthering one’s education.
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