Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

John Deaton

Abstract

In 2013, military leadership took action to lift the ban on women participating in combat roles, thus creating a vital need to understand protective cognitive factors in women veterans exposed to combat. There is no prior research examining the relationship between resilience and thinking styles in this population. The purpose of this quantitative survey study was to examine the predictive relationship between resilience, measured with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and thinking styles, measured with the Thinking Styles Inventoryâ??Revised 2, on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) scores, measured by PCL-5, in women with combat exposure (CE). A cross-sectional design was used. A convenience sample size of 130 female veterans ages 30 to 55 who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with a spectrum of PTSD scores and CE was recruited through Facebook's various women veterans organizations. The theoretical framework for this study was Sternberg's theory of mental self-government, which suggests there are different ways individuals will organize, govern their lives, and complete tasks. A Pearson's correlation analysis found significant relationships between the criterion (PSTD scores) and predictor variables (resilience, hierarchical, and liberal thinking styles). A multiple regression analysis found only resilience significantly predicted PTSD symptom scores. The results contribute to social change by adding to the limited research on resilience and thinking styles, which may further cognitive treatment for women veterans and, as the military female population increases, promote additional training for women veterans to increase resilience and enhance positive thinking styles.

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