Deployment social support and alcohol abuse among Ohio army national guard soldiers
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
: 2:38 p.m. - 2:56 p.m.
There is evidence that military unit cohesion is associated with heavy drinking. Studies suggest that this association is modified by type of unit support. Informed by the high rates of alcohol use problems in the military, we aimed to determine the relationship between the types of deployment social support and alcohol abuse within a National Guard population. Using a cross-sectional sample of 337 deployed soldiers from the clinical subsample of the Ohio Army National Guard Mental Health Initiative, we assessed deployment social support of soldiers during their most recent deployment (assessed with Unit Support Subscale of DRRI) and the presence of a current diagnosis of alcohol abuse (assessed with SCID). Logistic regression was used to estimate the association among the three constructs (general, unit leaders, and other unit members), which make up the deployment social support scale and current alcohol abuse, and adjusting for gender, age, race, and theater of combat. The proportion of deployed soldiers with a current diagnosis of alcohol use disorder was 3.6%. Among deployed soldiers, those who perceived a greater amount of support and cohesion from unit leaders were less likely to have current alcohol abuse (AOR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.577, 0.974). However, this association was not observed in support from other unit members (AOR = 1.37, 95% CI = 0.88, 2.15) or the military in general (AOR = 1.31, 95% CI = 0.61, 2.84). Support from unit leaders may be protective against alcohol abuse in military populations; further longitudinal work to clarify this relationship is needed.
Describe the relationship between the types of deployment social support and alcohol abuse within a National Guard population.
Keyword(s): Epidemiology, Alcohol
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the biostatistician of several federally funded grants in epidemiology and clinical trials. Furthermore, I am a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics with a focus on alcohol and the military.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.