Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Colette Daiute

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Psychology


Coping, Family System, Intervention, Mental Health, Military, Trauma


Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have created a new generation of military veterans and military families, many of which must manage and cope with psychosocial challenges such as posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse induced by the psychological trauma(s) faced during war. Risk factors, buffering factors, and war zone stressors influencing the development of PTSD following military-related trauma will be reviewed. As many of these affected veterans return to living with spouses and children, these psychosocial issues show to bring forth tension, stress, and friction to the family system. This thesis explores the literature of family system challenges faced by male and female U.S. veterans, and child outcomes.

Through a review of empirical literature, a case will be made that not only does the veteran affect his/her spouse and child(ren) while enduring difficult psychological conditions, but the spouses and child(ren) also have a reciprocal effect on the veteran's coping efficacy and recovery process. Therefore, this text will contend that there is a need to view these mental health challenges as a family systems issue, with implications for a need to develop family system interventions for successful management and recovery for veterans, spouses, and children combined.