Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

David Whitcomb


While the current literature has investigated various barriers to reintegration for male veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States, few have investigated how internal processes such as attitudes and beliefs impact reintegration outcomes. Civilian literature has indicated that men who adhere to traditional masculine ideals tend to have a lower quality of life, less help-seeking behaviors, and more mental and physical health problems. This study set out to investigate how traditional masculine values, age, combat exposure, and relative normative male alexithymia may affect mental health, quality of life, and help-seeking behaviors in veterans who were deployed to combat theaters. Participants were recruited online and filled out instruments related to the constructs. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate possible predictive models. Results indicated a variety of models. In the models, the findings suggested that combat exposure, characteristics of a dominant personality, and normative male alexithymia together were predictive of higher levels of post-traumatic stress. It also suggested that restrictive emotionality and avoidance of emotional processing may serve as protective factors against the latter. Restrictive emotionality, adherence to normative male alexithymia, and dominant personality characteristics were significant predictors of less positive attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help. Restrictive emotionality, higher levels of alexithymia, and combat exposure were found to significantly predict lower levels of quality of life. Suggestions for future research and implications included the need to tailor service delivery to veterans with regards to emotion-based messaging before and after deployments, for outreach, and to continue research into the complex interaction of warrior culture, traditional masculinity, resiliency and quality of life.