Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Kristen Beyer

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine whether the post-deployment screening instrument currently utilized to assess active-duty Marines for symptoms of PTSD upon their return from a combat deployment can be solely relied upon to accurately assess for PTSD. Additionally, this study sought to compare the number of Marines who have sought trauma-related mental health treatment based on their answers on the Post-Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA) to the number who have sought trauma-related mental health treatment based on their answers on their PTSD Checklist â?? Military Version (PCL-M). The participants in this study were comprised of a sample of active-duty Marines that had recently returned from a combat deployment. A quantitative secondary data analysis used Item Response Theory (IRT) to examine the answers provided by the participants on both the PDHA and PCL-M. Both instruments proved to be effective when assessing symptoms of PTSD and the participants identified as having symptoms of PTSD were referred for mental health services as required. According to the results, more Marines were identified as having symptoms of PTSD using both assessment instruments (PDHA and PCL-M) compared to those identified using just the PDHA. The result was a better understanding of predictors of Marines who may later develop PTSD. The results of this study can also assist the Marine Corps with its post-deployment screening for symptoms of PTSD which in turn can provide appropriate mental health referrals for Marines if deemed appropriate.

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