Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Sociology and Criminology

Faculty Advisor

Angela Kaufman-Parks


Intimate partner violence, Posttraumatic stress disorder, War veterans, Hypermasculinity


Throughout this thesis, past research will be outlined regarding the relationship between PTSD and IPV among war veterans. This research will display why people with PTSD from war are more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence than are civilians. Then, I will present more evidence as to why veterans post-9/11 veterans may be more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence than pre-9/11 veterans. Post-9/11 veterans are less likely to get help for their mental health problems, leading them to face a host of life difficulties including disconnectedness from family and friends, unemployment, and substance abuse problems, all of which are also precursors to the perpetration of intimate partner violence. Research also indicates that the general public was more engaged with current events and news pertaining to wars and other government issues in the pre-9/11 era. In turn, this helped veterans receive more respect for serving our country than they do today; and more directly relevant to the topic of this thesis, provided for the recognition that veterans may need assistance in a variety of domains to successfully readjust to civilian life after returning home. Today, people pay less attention to what is going on with war largely because the country has been at war for so long. In turn, this can result in a lack of awareness about the problems post-9/11 veterans are likely to face and a corresponding lack of service availability for their various needs.

In order to rectify some of these issues, I will first use prior research to assess what programs currently exist to address the issues of PTSD and IPV among war veterans, and whether these programs address those needs that are either specific to or may be more common among post-9/11 veterans. Using various government resources and reports, including the Veterans Affair’s website, I will then assess average wait times for the provision of mental health services for veterans, under the acknowledgement that service availability may be an issue among certain populations and in certain geographic areas. I will conclude this section of my thesis by suggesting what specific program aspects are best incorporated into treatments and therapies for PTSD and IPV among war veterans to help reduce the frequency of these problems, as well as suggest ways to increase service availability among those demographic populations or geographic areas that may be suffering the most.

While ensuring that effective treatment programs are utilized and that such programs are readily available for those who wish to access them is a necessary first step in combatting IPV perpetration among war veterans, a second step is helping to ensure that veterans who need such services are willing to seek them. As such, another way intimate partner violence rates could be reduced among war veterans is if the sense of hypermasculinity in society today is reduced. This could lessen rates of IPV because not only is hypermasculinity in itself a consistent predictor of men perpetrating violence against their female partners, but male war veterans may also not feel weak for seeking help for mental disorders if help-seeking is no longer perceived as an unmanly behavior. To this end, I will also conclude my thesis by assessing what programs, if any, currently exist in the military or in society more broadly (i.e., school systems, workplaces, etc.) to reduce hypermasculine ideologies and behaviors; what particular aspects of these programs are found to be most effective; and suggest ways that such programs might become more widespread throughout society in the future.

Included in

Sociology Commons