The Effect of Traditional Masculine Gender Role Adherence on Community Reintegration Following Traumatic Brain Injury in Military Veterans
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University
Although returning from deployment and reintegrating into one's community is a difficult task for any military veteran, these tasks can be especially difficult for veterans sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during deployment. Due to the unique cognitive and social deficits caused by the injury, individuals (predominately male) who sustain a TBI have a more difficult time reintegrating into their communities and report a poorer subjective quality of life than do individuals and veterans with other serious injuries. The present study examined the effect of level of traditional masculine gender role cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors on community reintegration outcomes in a sample of 60 male military veterans who had sustained a TBI during deployment. Data was collected through self-report measures and cognitive tests, and analyses were carried out using correlation, mediation, and moderation models. Results suggested that greater endorsement of traditional masculine gender role beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors was related to: (a) poorer outcomes on certain measures of community reintegration (i.e., livings skills and relationships); and (b) poorer outcomes in living skills and increased psychosocial difficulties only for participants with greater verbal cognitive flexibility. Findings were discussed in relation to previous research and future directions.