Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology

First Advisor

Stefan E. Schulenberg

Second Advisor

Laura J. Dixon

Third Advisor

Laura R. Johnson


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



The transition of veterans from military to civilian life may be conceptualized as a cultural transition (i.e., acculturation). This is based on the idea that the military contains its own culture quite distinct from that of the U.S. civilian population. For veterans, this transition presents psychological and social challenges and potential difficulties consistent with those seen in immigrants transitioning to a new country from their respective countries of origin. These psychosocial difficulties are especially pronounced in combat veterans, who experience higher rates of psychopathology compared to veterans who have not experienced combat. The current study examines the impact of warzone deployments on veterans’ acculturation process. Secondary and tertiary goals of this study examine the roles of risk factors (psychological distress) and protective factors (meaning in life) in the acculturation process. The previously adapted measures of military acculturation (see Tkachuck, 2019 and Tkachuck et al., 2022), a measure of psychological distress (DASS-21; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), and a measure of meaning in life (the PIL-SF; Schulenberg et al., 2011) are examined across groups of veterans who have and have not previously been deployed to warzones. The analyses control for potential covariates such as length of service, branch of service, number of deployments, deployment location, and time since discharge. A significant difference was found between veterans with and without previous warzones deployments in the sociocultural and psychological adaptation factors of acculturation. However, there was no significant difference in acculturation orientation, perceived cultural distance, psychological distress, or perceived meaning in life. Results of the present study suggest that warzone deployment history may be a risk factor for greater difficulty in psychological and sociocultural adaptation amongst veterans.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.