Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

School

Health Services

Advisor

Peter B. Anderson

Abstract

In the United States Armed Forces, 30% of women in the military suffer physical assault each year; in 2009, there were 22 reported cases of sexual assault in the U.S. Central Command. Aggravated assault, gang violence, sexual assault, homicide, and suicide can damage the morale of military personnel at a deployed site and collectively cost millions of dollars over time. Interpersonal violence in the United States military is destructive to the military system and directly diminishes mission readiness. This study was designed to illuminate the environmental, cultural, and political influences that affect interpersonal safety among military women in the deployed environment of Afghanistan with the goal of discovering mechanisms to improve interpersonal safety for that population. Grounded theory was used to analyze data obtained from U.S. military women in Bagram, Afghanistan and their environment concerning interpersonal safety. This information was used to generate a relational social theory based on themes, patterns, and relationships; the theory of US Military Interpersonal Safety, Violence Prevention, and Response. This theory is intended to improve interpersonal safety as well as prevent and counter violence in the deployed setting. Applying this theory is expected to promote better assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation of violence prevention and response healthcare programs meant to mitigate violence and assist military members who have been victims of violence. This study promotes positive social change by identifying precursors of interpersonal violence in a deployed environment and creating a strong foundation for understanding how to prevent interpersonal violence and create response programs to address this issue.