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Military Sexual Trauma among Women Veterans: The Buffering Effect of Coworker Support

Smith NA, Brady JM, Hammer L, Carlson KF, Mohr C. Military Sexual Trauma among Women Veterans: The Buffering Effect of Coworker Support. Military psychology : the official journal of the Division of Military Psychology, American Psychological Association. 2020 Dec 14; 32(6):441-449.

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Prior research has demonstrated the impact of military sexual trauma (MST) on health and well-being. However, little empirical work has been published identifying protective factors for women who have experienced MST. We examined the impact of two different forms of MST, harassment-only and assault MST, on PTSD symptoms and social functional impairment in a sample of women Veterans employed in the civilian workforce. The effects of MST were examined at three different times over a period of 9 months. We found that MST that included both harassment and assault was associated with significantly higher levels of PTSD symptoms and social functional impairment across three different time points among women Veterans employed in civilian jobs. Further, the pattern of results suggested that coworker support can buffer against these negative outcomes experienced by women who reported assault MST. Overall, findings suggest that coworker support is one critical resource for women Veterans who experienced assault MST.

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