The impact of deployment length and experience on the well-being of male and female soldiers

J Occup Health Psychol. 2005 Apr;10(2):121-37. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.10.2.121.


This study examined the effects of stressor duration (deployment length) and stressor novelty (no prior deployment experience) on the psychological health of male and female military personnel returning from a peacekeeping deployment. The sample consisted of men (n = 2,114) and women (n = 1,225) surveyed for symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress. The results confirmed the hypotheses. Longer deployments and 1st-time deployments were associated with an increase in distress scores. However, the relationship between deployment length and increased distress was found only for male soldiers. The findings demonstrate the importance of considering the impact of exposure to long-term occupational stressors and confirm, in part, previous research that has demonstrated a different stress response pattern for men and women.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Time Factors