risk and resilience factors 1

Risk and Resilience Factors

Resilience factors, such as a strong social support system, can contribute to a soldier’s ability to cope with traumatic events during deployment and can ultimately facilitate his or her readjustment upon returning home. Similarly, risk factors, such as prior exposure to trauma, can be detrimental to a soldier’s ability to cope during deployment and can impair his or her readjustment upon returning home. There are exceptions, of course. For example, even the most resilient soldier can be pushed beyond his or her capacity to cope with a traumatic event. Conversely, a soldier who exhibits risk factors will not necessarily develop a psychological disorder. This is why assessment is critical at all stages of a soldier’s exposure to combat and war.

In this Assignment, you will analyze risk and resilience factors associated with soldiers in two case studies. Then, based on your analysis, you will determine which soldier might have a greater risk for developing a combat-related psychological disorder.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Pay particular attention to specific risk and resilience factors related to pre-deployment background, deployment-related experiences and perceptions, and post-deployment events and circumstances.
  • Focus on pre-deployment, war-zone, and post-deployment risk and resilience factors. Consider the relationship between risk and resilience factors and posttraumatic stress symptomology.
  • Review the Week 8 Case Studies. Reflect on each specialist’s social support system and exposure to trauma before, during, and after deployment. Also, consider the living and working conditions and combat experiences of each specialist during deployment.
  • Identify risk and resilience factors related to pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment for both specialists in the case studies.
  • Based on each specialist’s risk and resilience factors, consider who might have a greater risk for developing a combat-related psychological disorder and why.

The Assignment: (2 pages)

  • Analyze the risk and resilience factors in each Case Study. Include a brief description of each factor and explain why you think each is a risk or resilience factor.
  • Based on your analysis, explain which of the two combat veterans you think might have a greater risk for developing a combat-related psychological disorder and why. Be specific.

Required Readings

Brymer, M., Jacobs, A., Layne, C., Pynoos, R., Ruzek, J., Steinberg, A., et al. (2006). Psychological first aid (PFA): Field operations guide (2nd ed.). Retrieved from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network National Center for PTSD website:

Note: This document is a review from Week 4. It is a large document and may, depending on your computer, take a few minutes to download.

Hassija, C. M., Jakupcak, M., Maguen, S., & Shipherd, J. C. (2012). The influence of combat and interpersonal trauma on PTSD, depression, and alcohol misuse in U.S. Gulf War and OEF/OIF women veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25(2), 216–219.

King, L. A., King, D. W., Vogt, D. S., Knight, J., & Samper, R. E. (2006). Deployment risk and resilience inventory: A collection of measures for studying deploymentrelated experiences of military personnel and veterans. Military Psychology, 18(2), 89–120.

Langston, V., Gould, M., & Greenberg, N. (2007). Culture: What is its effect on stress in the military? Military Medicine, 172(9), 931-935.

Maguen, S., Metzler, T. J., Bosch, J., Marmar, C. R., Knight, S. J., & Neylan, T. C. (2012). Killing in combat maybe independently associated with suicidal ideation. Depression and Anxiety, 29(11), 918–923.

Pietrzak, R. H., Whealin, J. M., Stotzer, R. L., Goldstein, M. B., & Southwick, S. M. (2011). An examination of the relation between combat experiences and combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder in a sample of Connecticut OEF-OIF veterans. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45(12), 1579–1584.

Vogt, D. S., & Tanner, L. R. (2007). Risk and resilience factors for posttraumatic stress symptomatology in Gulf War I veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20(1), 27– 38.