Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

( Dr. Sean Lauderdale

Second Advisor

( Dr. Regan Slater

Third Advisor

( Dr. Paul Morris


Veterans with PTSD experience stigma and discrimination. The extent to which women combat veterans with PTSD may experience stigma and discrimination has yet to be investigated. This is critical given the increasing number of women veterans exposed to combat and combat trauma. Level of familiarity may affect stigmatizing beliefs. Gender may also affect stigmatizing beliefs. To assess this, 126 undergraduate students (men, n = 69) were randomly assigned to view videos of a man or woman veteran describing combat experience and their PTSD symptoms. Participants completed questionnaires assessing PTSD symptoms, level of familiarity with veterans, and stigmatizing attitudes toward the veteran in the video. A series of between groups 2 (participant gender) x 2 (veteran gender) ANOVAs indicated that both men and women participants perceived the man veteran as more dangerous, provoking fear and anger, and requiring segregation than the woman veteran. Women blamed the veterans less for their PTSD than did men. There was a main effect for veteran gender on blame; the woman veteran was blamed for her PTSD more than the man veteran. Bivariate correlations showed familiarity with veterans was negatively correlated with anger towards the veteran, perceived dangerousness, and fear. Familiarity was not correlated with blame or pity. Experiencing PTSD was not correlated with blame, pity, dangerousness, or fear.



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