Effects of Perceived Public Regard on the Well-Being of Military Veterans
Author ORCID Identifier
Society and Mental Health
Many military veterans face considerable challenges reintegrating into civilian life. Evidence suggests the general public holds conflicting attitudes toward veterans. This study examines how perceived public attitudes play a role in veterans’ mental health and well-being. Drawing from and extending interactionist theories of self-concept, stigma, and mental health recovery, we develop and estimate models for the relationships between internalized public attitudes toward veterans (perceived public regard), military identity–related self-worth (private regard), and well-being (depression, self-efficacy, and life satisfaction). Using survey data from the Chicagoland Veterans Study, we found that perceived public regard is negatively related to depression and positively related to self-efficacy and life satisfaction. The relationship between public regard and self-efficacy is fully mediated by private regard, and a significant part of the relationship between perceived public regard and both depression and life satisfaction is mediated by private regard. The study suggests avenues for extending theory and research related to military identity and public understanding of veterans as well as other groups where there may be conflicting public sentiment toward them.
depression, identity, mental health, stigma, veterans
Markowitz, Fred E.; Kintzle, Sara M.; Castro, Carl A.; and Lancaster, Steven L., "Effects of Perceived Public Regard on the Well-Being of Military Veterans" (2019). NIU Bibliography. 227.
Department of Sociology