Leslie B. Hammer

Date of Award

Winter 7-21-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 233 pages)


Post-traumatic stress disorder, Veterans -- Psychology, Veterans -- Job stress -- Mathematical models, Sleep -- Psychological aspects -- Mathematical models, Combat -- Psychological aspects




Despite the growing need, prior research on how the civilian work domain may affect posttraumatic stress is scarce. Moreover, few if any studies have investigated how perceptions of one's job and insomnia may shape traumatic stress symptoms, post-combat. Presently, about 4 million Americans have served in the "Global War on Terrorism," including nearly 1 million reservists. By contrast, 8.7 million Americans served in the Vietnam War: over twice the number of U.S. military personnel who have fought since 9/11. Surprisingly, combat experiences alone do not explain the majority of posttraumatic stress disorder cases, even after multiple deployments, suggesting the presence of moderators of the stressor-strain conceptual model. Based in occupational stress theories of allostatic load, job demands-resources, strain, and social support this thesis applied frequentist and Bayesian analytical strategies to investigate the psychological experiences and occupational health of three subgroups of combat veterans. In the present study, sleep quality and a job situation characterized by isolated, demanding civilian work with low decision authority (i.e., "iso-strain") were hypothesized to moderate the effect of combat experiences on posttraumatic stress. As part of the larger SERVe reintegration project, survey data were collected among a baseline sample (N=382) of post-9/11 veterans living in the Pacific Northwest. The research question of whether greater perceived psychosocial stressors among active reservists driving that group's higher perceived levels of poor sleep, iso-strain, and posttraumatic stress was unfounded. Overall, however, the central hypotheses of the simple effects of iso-strain and sleep quality on posttraumatic stress following combat were significant.

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Psychology Commons