A concept mapping study of the impact of mobilization and deployment on United States Army reservists
Stenger, Tracy L.
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This exploratory study utilized an innovative methodology, concept mapping, to examine the impact of mobilization and deployment on Army Reservists during Operation Iraqi Freedom . Free-response methodology identified 103 items generated by soldiers who had been deployed from the 98 th Division. Five individual interviews with post-deployed soldiers were also conducted to validate the content of the free-responses. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses were used to identify the underlying structure of the impact of mobilization and deployment. Six specific deployment impact clusters were identified: (1) Family , (2) Life Altering Experience /Readjustment, (3) My Personal Connection to the War in Iraq , (4) Pride and Patriotism , (5) Coping and Self-Awareness , and (6) Disillusionment . The clusters My Personal Connection to the War in Iraq and Pride and Patriotism were rated as having the most impact for the mobilized and deployed soldiers. Pattern matching analysis was also conducted to examine the degree of impact of the deployment impact items relationship to Reservist characteristics including gender, age, length of deployment, marital status and rank. With the exception of marital status, there were only minor differences among the intensity of the ratings. Soldier's quality of life was also assessed through use Veteran's Rand 36-Item Health Survey. The VR-36 Mental Component Summary score for enlisted soldiers was found to be significantly lower than the MCS mean for the officers. This exploratory study is intended to be an introductory model for studying and understanding the structure of the impact of deployment among US Army Reservists.