Date of Conferral







Benita S. Smith


AbstractHispanic veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have a higher prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than veterans of other ethnicities, and yet little research is devoted to examining this discrepancy. The purpose of this quantitative study, framed by Leininger’s cultural care theory, was to examine self-identified outcomes of three treatment modes and how they correlate with acculturation for Hispanic veterans diagnosed with PTSD at outpatient clinics and community outreach agencies. Independent variables were individual and group behavioral therapy, or a combination of both. Dependent variables of PTSD and well-being scores and level of acculturation were examined using data from 77 Hispanic veterans completing the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, Bidimensional Acculturation Scale, and General Well-Being Scale. A mixed model ANOVA, used to examine severity scores on the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 and General Well-Being Scale, showed that none of the main effects were statistically significant. Relationships between level of acculturation and PTSD symptom severity, and level of acculturation and general well-being were examined using multiple linear regression. Results suggested a relationship between acculturation and therapy type on PTSD scores, and on General Well-Being Scale scores. This research can bring positive social change in its identification of correlations between therapeutic outcomes and acculturation for Hispanic veterans with PTSD, thus facilitating better assessment and treatment. The findings can also help practitioners recognize the interrelationship between mental health and the cultural values, beliefs, and behaviors of ethnic minorities, as well as help practitioners conceptualize the role that culture plays in mental health.