Financial well-being and postdeployment adjustment among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans

Mil Med. 2012 Jun;177(6):669-75. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-11-00388.


Research has yet to examine the relationship between financial well-being and community reintegration of veterans. To address this, we analyzed data from n = 1,388 Iraq and Afghanistan War Era Veterans who completed a national survey on postdeployment adjustment. The results indicated that probable major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury were associated with financial difficulties. However, regardless of diagnosis, veterans who reported having money to cover basic needs were significantly less likely to have postdeployment adjustment problems such as criminal arrest, homelessness, substance abuse, suicidal behavior, and aggression. Statistical analyses also indicated that poor money management (e.g., incurring significant debt or writing bad checks) was related to maladjustment, even among veterans at higher income levels. Given these findings, efforts aimed at enhancing financial literacy and promoting meaningful employment may have promise to enhance outcomes and improve quality of life among returning veterans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Afghan Campaign 2001-*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data*
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology