Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Bradley Olson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Suzette Fromm-Reed, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Judah Viola, Ph.D.


This study evaluated three specific factors affecting Veterans who have separated from military service and transitioned into the civilian workforce. The support and resources offered and received, as well as the participants’ adaptability in handling the transition, were examined. Additionally, perceptions of success and transition readiness were studied. Prior research on veterans indicate that many face challenges beyond service, including difficulty in finding employment. The impacts of participating in supportive services and obtaining work, particularly in relation to how respondents perceive the post military experience as either aligned or not with their pre-existing knowledge and skill sets were considered. In Study 1, a quantitative examination of veterans and their soldier identity in their transition from the military to the civilian workforce was examined. Differences were found suggesting that gender differences in attitudes toward being a soldier depended on participants’ current employment status. Study 2 uses a qualitative methodology to pursue the perceptions of female veterans to get a broader sense of their success in obtaining employment once separated from service. Using transition theory, identity theory, and the 4S model of transition, the themes that developed could be best represented in a broader three-pronged framework: perceptions of identity during service, motivation behind departure, and transition support. Based on the newly developed model, several possible future directions of research and practice are discussed.