Ackerman, R., DiRamio, D., & Mitchell, R. L. G. (2009). Transitions: Combat veterans as college students. New Directions for Student Services, 2009(126), 5-14. doi:

Barry, Adam E. “An assessment of sense of belonging in higher education among student service members/veterans.”  Journal of American College Health (69)3, 2021. 335-339. 

Barry, A. E., Whiteman, S. D., & MacDermid Wadsworth, S. M. (2012). Implications of posttraumatic stress among military-affiliated and civilian students. Journal of American College Health, 60(8), 562-573. doi:

Buzzetta, M. E., Lenz, J. G., Hayden, S. C. W., & Osborn, D. S. (2020, December). Student Veterans: Meaning in Life, Negative Career Thoughts, and Depression. Career Development Quarterly, 68(4), 361+. 
Student veterans may experience challenges as they transition from military to student life, including adjusting to the academic environment, coping with mental health concerns, and redefining their identities. Research indicates that veterans may have difficulty finding meaning and purpose outside of the military (Brenner et al., 2008; Doenges, 2011). This study explored variables that may affect meaning and purpose in student veterans’ lives, specifically negative career thoughts and depression. One hundred thirty-two student veterans at U.S. institutions were surveyed. The results revealed that both negative career thoughts and depression were statistically significant predictors (p < .001) of the presence of meaning in life, with 46% of the variance in the presence of meaning in life scores accounted for by participants’ negative career thinking and depression levels. Pearson correlations indicated that all variables were statistically significant (p < .01). Future research could explore how other career readiness and self-assessment constructs are related to meaning and purpose in student veterans’ lives, as well as the intersection of mental health and career factors. Interventions that focus both on the presence of negative career thoughts and depressive symptomatology may positively influence student veterans’ report of meaning and purpose in life.

Fortney, J. C., Curran, G. M., Hunt, J. B., Cheney, A. M., Lu, L., Valenstein, M., & Eisenberg, D. (2016). Prevalence of probable mental disorders and help-seeking behaviors among veteran and non-veteran community college students. General Hospital Psychiatry, 38, 99–104. 
Millions of disadvantaged youth and returning veterans are enrolled in community colleges. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of mental disorders and help-seeking behaviors among community college students.Methods: Veterans (n=211) and non-veterans (n=554) were recruited from 11 community colleges and administered screeners for depression (PHQ-9), generalized anxiety (GAD-7), posttraumatic stress disorder (PC-PTSD), non-lethal self-injury, suicide ideation and suicide intent. The survey also asked about the perceived need for, barriers to and utilization of services. Regression analysis was used to compare prevalence between non-veterans and veterans adjusting for non-modifiable factors (age, gender and race/ethnicity).
Results: A large proportion of student veterans and non-veterans screened positive and unadjusted bivariate comparisons indicated that student veterans had a significantly higher prevalence of positive depression screens (33.1% versus 19.5%, P<.01), positive PTSD screens (25.7% versus 12.6%, P<.01) and suicide ideation (19.2% versus 10.6%, P=.01). Adjusting for age, gender and race/ethnicity, veterans were significantly more likely than non-veterans to screen positive for depression (OR=2.10, P=.01) and suicide ideation (OR=2.31, P=.03). Student veterans had significantly higher odds of perceiving a need for treatment than non-veterans (OR=1.93, P=.02) but were more likely to perceive stigma (beta=0.28, P=.02). Despite greater need among veterans, there were no significant differences between veterans and non-veterans in use of psychotropic medications, although veterans were more likely to receive psychotherapy (OR=2.35, P=.046).
Conclusions: Findings highlight the substantial gap between the prevalence of probable mental health disorders and treatment seeking among community college students. Interventions are needed to link community college students to services, especially for student veterans.

Heineman, J. A. (2017). From Boots to Suits: Women Veterans Transitioning to Community College Students. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2017(179), 77–88.
This chapter explores the unique needs of women student-veterans and highlights the ways that community college leaders can support women student-veterans on their college campuses.

Jamieson, Nikki, Myfanwy Maple, Dorothy Ratnarajah and Kim Usher. “Military moral injury: A concept analysis.”  International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (2020) 29, 1049–1066 doi: 10.1111/inm.12792.
Moral injury is the current term describing the breaching or violation of one’s moral code and has gained international research attention due to suicide linkages in military populations (Jamieson et al., Invisible wounds and suicide: Moral injury and veteran mental health. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 29, 105–109, 2020). Moral injury’s core features are spiritual/existential conflict, shame, guilt and self-condemnation. To date, research focuses on the core features of moral injury and or the nature of events that exposed individuals to moral injury. Walker and Avant (Strategies for Theory Construction in Nursing, Prentice Hall New York, 2011) concept analysis model was used to examine the literature. The aim of this study is to enhance understanding of the defining attributes, antecedents, consequences and empirical referents of moral injury and systematically analyze the concept of moral injury in the context of military members. A literature search was undertaken using specific websites and journals, electronic databases, library catalogues and hand-searches. Concept analysis was used to explicate moral injury, focusing exclusively on use of the concept in the included literature, comparing the terms used over time and across disciplines, and measurement tools for the concept. This concept analysis provides a renewed definition of moral injury in relation to the experience of veterans –‘moral trauma’ and defined as: ‘the existential, psychological, emotional and or spiritual trauma arising from a conflict, violation or betrayal, either by omission or commission, of or within one’s moral beliefs or code(s)’. The analysis will facilitate understanding and operationalization of the concept applied to teaching, learning, practice and research.

Johnson, M. C., Graceffo, J. M., Hayes, J. A., & Locke, B. D. (2014). Examining treatment-seeking college students with and without military experience and trauma histories. Journal of College Counseling, 17(3), 260+.
An increasing number of veterans are returning from war, many with mental health problems. Some of these returning veterans will enroll in college, and it is important that campus counseling centers can meet the needs of this population. This study examined psychological distress among students with and without military experience. Results indicated that students with military experience showed elevated rates of hostility and family concerns. Clinical implications are discussed.

Kallsen, S. R., Allwood, M. A., Adams, S. W., & Pugach, C. P. (2020). Community Violence Exposure and Academic Performance: Examining the Roles of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Sleep Quantity and Quality among College Students. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 29(10), 1161–1175. 
The current study sought to address the roles of PTSD symptoms, low sleep quantity, and poor sleep quality in the association between community violence exposure and college academic performance. College students (N = 267) from an urban commuter college were surveyed between Fall 2012 to Spring 2016. The age range of the sample was 17 to 29 (M = 20.26, SD = 2.19) and 75.7% were females. Findings indicate that students were exposed to multiple types of community violence and other potentially traumatic events. There was a significant association between community violence exposure and lower GPA, but this association was not directly mediated by accounting for sleep difficulties. Findings may be influenced by sex and race differences. Our findings suggest that screening for community violence exposure among college students might identify students who may benefit from greater academic support as well as greater psychological support.

Kirchner, M. J. (2015). Supporting Student Veteran Transition to College and Academic Success. Adult Learning, 26(3), 116–123.
Veterans enrolled in college face unique challenges compared with those of traditional students. Their experiences and perspectives, coupled with battling stereotypes and entering an unstructured college setting, contribute toward what can be a difficult transition. Student veteran organizations, veteran resource centers, veteran-specific orientations, and faculty training are relatively new approaches used by universities and have not been well-researched or reported. Educators need to be aware of the currently offered services and prepared to establish a safe environment for student veterans in their classrooms. By acknowledging student veterans and understanding how to support them in the classroom, education providers may be less concerned about the veteran stereotypes that persist today. This article provides adult educators with an overview of student veterans and their transition into college, offers suggestions to ease veterans’ adjustment to the classroom, and provides research opportunities for faculty to further advance higher education’s understanding of student veterans.

Medley, J., Cheney, A. M., Abraham, T., Grubbs, K., Hunt, J., Lu, L., Fortney, J. C., & Curran, G. M. (2017). The Impact of the Psychological Sequela of Trauma on Veterans Seeking Higher Education. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability30(1), 83–96.
Despite evidence that mental health burden is associated with lower academic success and non-completion in college students, and the high incidence of combat-related trauma exposure in returning veterans, few studies exist regarding the intersection of these issues in student veterans. This paper presents findings from a study on the mental health burden of student veterans attending rural community colleges in the southern United States. Based on qualitative research, the findings illustrate how the psychological sequela of combat-related trauma exposure impact classroom integration and academic achievement. The findings highlight the need for supportive services to integrate student veterans into campus communities and link them to mental healthcare resources, potentially improving academic success.

Ness, B. M., Rocke, M. R., Harrist, C. J., & Vroman, K. G. (2014). College and combat trauma: an insider’s perspective of the post-secondary education experience shared by service members managing neurobehavioral symptoms. NeuroRehabilitation, 35(1), 147–158.
Citation/Abstract Retrieved from National Library of Medicine/PubMed:
Enrolling in post-secondary education is common among military service members returning from combat deployments, but recent research shows service members who present with neurobehavioral symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at risk for psychosocial and academic difficulty. Objective: This exploratory study was conducted to examine the academic experiences of service members through in-depth qualitative analysis. Methods: An initial survey was conducted at a public university to measure self-reported academic achievement and neurobehavioral symptoms experienced by service members (n = 48). Then, follow-up interviews were solicited from a sub-sample (n = 5) of participants to gain an in-depth understanding of their transition, social, and academic experiences. Results: The results revealed both the day-to-day challenges participants faced while adjusting to post-secondary life and how neurobehavioral symptoms associated with combat trauma interacted with their learning experiences. The findings indicated participants did not perceive neurobehavioral symptoms as particularly deleterious to their learning thereby highlighting the potentially integral role of coping strategies and motivation in post-secondary success. Conclusions: This study underscores the importance of understanding not only the adverse impact of neurobehavioral symptoms but the factors that promote resilience among military service members in post-secondary education. 

Niv, N., Noosha Niv, & Lauren Bennett. (06/01/2017). Veterans’ mental health in higher education settings: Services and clinician education needs doi:10.1176/

Reyes, A.T., Muthukumar, V., Bhatta, T.R. et al. (2020). Promoting Resilience Among College Student Veterans Through an Acceptance-and-Commitment-Therapy App: An Intervention Refinement Study. Community Mental Health J 56, 1206–1214 (2020).
Military veterans’ stigmatized views on mental disorders and traditional mental health care considerably reduce veterans’ access to mental health services. The present study aimed to refine a previously developed non-stigmatizing smartphone-app intervention based on the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy for college student veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To this end, we tested the acceptability of the developed prototype using a mixed-method study design. A total of nine student veterans participated in the study by using the app intervention and completing pre-post study measures and a post-intervention qualitative interview. The results showed that the intervention was highly acceptable. The results of the qualitative data analysis highlighted relevant themes related to strategies for improving the content, delivery, and structure of the intervention. The results also showed that, despite a decrease in the participants’ adherence as the intervention progressed, there was a consistent improvement in the participants’ resilience, PTSD, and rumination. Based on the results, the intervention was revised for prospective feasibility and efficacy testing. Our results highlight the need to use a collaborative approach in the early stage of the development of self-management PTSD interventions.