"Toughness" in association with mental health symptoms among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans seeking veterans affairs health care

Matthew Jakupcak, Rebecca K. Blais, Joel Grossbard, Hector Garcia, John Okiishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The association between endorsement of emotional "toughness" (i.e., extreme self-reliance and the suppression of outward displays of emotional distress) and likelihood for screening positive for mental health conditions was examined in a male sample of 198 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans presenting for postdeployment Veteran Affairs health care. After accounting for relevant covariates, veterans endorsing higher levels of emotional toughness were more likely to screen positive for posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. There was also a nonsignificant trend (p = .08) associated with a positive relationship between toughness and likelihood of self-reported alcohol abuse. Results are discussed in terms of identifying and addressing toughness norms among returning veterans to promote effective use of mental health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-104
Number of pages5
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Emotional toughness
  • Gender norms
  • Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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