International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Social Support and Post Tramatic Growth (PTG) among OEF-OIF and American Korean War Veterans: A Mixed Research Study
HeeSoon Lee, Derek Mason, Brett E. Holden, Peggy Adams, Louis Guardiola, Jr.; Eric Buetikofer

War is a tragic human endeavor, sometimes leaving war veterans with continual or delayed traumas. However, adversity or highly stressful situations can serve as an opportunity for psychological gain or positive growth. The model of post-traumatic growth suggests that social support may contribute to facilitating veterans’ positive growth after service. This study examines the impact of social support from fellow veterans upon positive growth of OEF-OIF and American Korean War veterans with a mixed-methodology approach, a focus group and a survey. The data was collected from13 OEF-OIF veterans and 20 American Korea War veterans living in the Northwest Ohio region. Findings indicated that the older veterans showed more positive growth in the domains of relating to others, appreciation of life, and spiritual change. We learned that support, which came as a result of involvement with peers in the American Korean War Veterans Association, was critical for positive growth among older veterans in our study. In the end, further research into the effectiveness of the older veterans’ potentially mentoring younger, returning veterans concerning the process of reintegration is necessary.

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