Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Liu, William M

First Committee Member

Ali, Saba R

Second Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy N

Third Committee Member

Ehly, Stewart W

Fourth Committee Member

Tarvydas, Vilia M


The number of OIF and OEF veterans who are choosing to pursue post-secondary education is increasing due in part to increased financial scholastic benefits earned as part of their military service. Veterans are not returning from combat unharmed however, and many are presenting with newly experienced difficulties that may impact their academic careers. This includes for example, PTSD, TBI, depression, and anxiety.

This study examined the impact of a veterans only college course entitled Life After War: Post-deployment Issues taught at a large Midwestern University. The class includes the instruction of scholastic skills, education on the natural consequences of post-deployment issues, as well as discussion of commonly reported transition issues. Participants of the study were OIF and/or OEF veterans who were currently pursuing post-secondary education and were enrolled in the Life After War college course. Participants completed self-report measures at the beginning and the end of the semester. Change in the areas of self-reported symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and help-seeking attitudes were examined over time. Demographics and other background information were obtained from each student to provide a framework for understanding the potential impact of the course.

Results revealed several major findings including a pattern of likely under-reporting of symptoms by participants in the study, an increase in self-report symptoms from pre to post-test, a higher self-report of symptoms and difficulties from those participants who did not return for post-testing and finally, a higher level of negative help-seeking attitudes and beliefs among those who did not return for follow-up testing. Implications and future considerations for working with student veterans are addressed.


Life After War, Post-secondary education, Veterans


x, 255 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-255).


Copyright 2012 Tamara Sue Woods