Military unit support, postdeployment social support, and PTSD symptoms among active duty and National Guard soldiers deployed to Iraq.J Anxiety Disord. 2014 Jun; 28(5):446-53.JA
Research suggests that military unit support and community postdeployment social support are associated with fewer PTSD symptoms following military deployment. This study extended prior research by examining the associations among predeployment unit support and PTSD symptoms before Iraq deployment as well as unit support, PTSD symptoms, and postdeployment social support after deployment among 835 U.S. Army and 173 National Guard soldiers. Multiple regression analyses indicated that predeployment unit support was not significantly associated with postdeployment PTSD severity in either group of soldiers, whereas higher unit support during deployment was significantly associated with lower postdeployment PTSD severity among active duty soldiers only. Among both groups, higher levels of postdeployment social support were associated with lower levels of postdeployment PTSD symptom severity. These findings suggest that postdeployment social support is a particularly strong buffer against postdeployment PTSD symptoms among both groups of soldiers whereas the effects of unit support may be limited.