CitationCoppola, Elizabeth C.; Christ, S.L.; Taylor, Z.; Schwab-Reese, L.; & MacDermid Wadsworth, S. (2023). Predicting Depression Trajectories From Family of Origin and Social Identity Among Those With and Without A History of Military Service.
AbstractThe post-9/11 era has been characterized by a substantial increase in depression diagnoses among service members and veterans (SMVs; Seal et al., 2009). There is a lack of understanding as to how preservice factors (upstream) vis-à-vis exposures related to military service contribute to subsequent depression symptoms, particularly as theoretical perspectives from life course theory pose that differences in health trajectories are driven by individual differences in experiences and events throughout the life course (London & Wilmoth, 2006). Many sociodemographic factors that contribute to health disparities have also been associated with propensity to enlist in the military, such as aspects of family of origin and social identity (Bachman et al., 2009), although they may be less relevant in a military context that provides universal access to healthcare and a pathway to independence from families of origin (Spence et al, 2013).
This study, among the first to use prospective data from SMVs gathered prior to military service, used latent growth mixture modeling with all five waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to identify patterns of depression trajectories from adolescence to midlife separately for SMVs and civilians. We sought to understand similarities and differences between SMVs and civilians in 1) the primary depression trajectory patterns and 2) associations between sociodemographic factors and depression trajectory patterns. The best fitting solution across both subpopulations was a four-class linear pattern yielding similar configurations of depression trajectories across SMVs and civilian populations. Class 4 (‘risky/increasing’) trajectory patterns were represented by a larger proportion of SMVs, relative to civilians, meanwhile factors were consistently associated with membership into riskier classes across subpopulations.
Reference TypeConference paper
Book TitleNational Council on Family Relations Annual Conference
Author(s)Coppola, Elizabeth C.
MacDermid Wadsworth, S.