Publication Date

Spring 2015

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Jane Rhoades Hudak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen H. Wagner, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

John W. Cook, Ph.D.


The issue of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following combat deployment among American military veterans has created significant barriers to successful reintegration. However, positive outcomes also exist in the form of posttraumatic growth. The purpose of this study was to examine Posttraumatic Growth in U.S. military combat veterans by identifying significant relationships among variables leading to successful reintegration of military personnel within the community following combat deployment. Participants in this correlational study included a total of 50 military combat veterans from various eras of conflict. Participants completed a survey battery containing the PTSD Checklist (PCLM), Combat Exposure Scale (CES), Post Deployment Social Support Scale (PDSSS), and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). Pearson Product Moment correlations were used to examine the relationship among these interval-level variables to gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between Post Traumatic Growth and positive reintegration. Results show there was a highly significant, negative relationship between scores on the Post Deployment Social Support Scale (PDSSS) and those on the PTSD Checklist (PCLM) (r = -.42,p < .01). There was also a highly significant, positive correlation between mean scores on the Combat Exposure Scale (CES) and mean scores on the PTSD Checklist (PCLM) (r = .388,p < .01). Implications are that increases in the participants' perceived level of emotional sustenance and instrumental assistance from family, friends, and individuals within the community are associated with lower perceived levels of severity of PTSD symptoms. In addition, as the IV level of wartime stressors experienced by combatant's increases, so do the perceived levels of severity of PTSD symptoms. This research is expected to be a catalyst for future research targeted at creating positive reintegration opportunities for military personnel following combat deployment.