Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Judge, Katherine

Subject Headings

Armed Forces, Developmental Psychology, Health, Psychology

Abstract

The object of this thesis was to examine the illness experience of veterans who have suffered either a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Predictors of key psychosocial outcomes were identified by looking at the illness experience through the veterans’ perspective via self-report measures. Results confirmed relationships between the stressors role captivity, low self-esteem, decreased socialization, and dyad relationship strain and the outcome of depression and between the stressors physical strain and emotional strain and the outcome social/recreational participation for this population. More importantly, role captivity, social/recreational strain, and self-esteem uniquely predicted depression, and both physical and emotional strain uniquely predicted social/recreational strain in veterans with brain injury. Not only has this study demonstrated how the illness experience predicts key psychosocial outcomes in VBIs, it has also illustrated that self-reports from VBIs are reliable and valid indicators of their illness experiences and should be seriously considered when constructing treatment goals and plans.

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