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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Re-entry and transition factors for returning Canadian Forces military members from overseas deployments Sorsdahl, Michael Neil


This study investigated the factors that affect the re-entry process of military members returning from overseas deployments, using the Critical Incident Technique method. To date, no other study has adequately investigated to this degree and focus, looking at what factors helped and hindered the successful reintegration process. This study expands the understanding of what is desired by military members on return from overseas deployments. It also presents an adaptation of a new theoretical model of re-entry. Fifteen participants were selected through their response to a ‘call for volunteers’ letter sent to military personnel in the vicinity who were either known by the researcher, known through the Veterans Transition Program coordinated by Dr. Marv Westwood, or known through those solicited persons above to have returned from overseas deployment over a year ago. The incident categories were rated by thirteen of the fifteen study participants as well as two external persons (one with military background and the other with no military background). The ratings of the categories resulted in over 90% concurrence through placing a random selection of incidents into the investigator-created categories. A total of 445 critical incidents were gathered, with 5 categories that helped the re-entry process, and 6 categories that hindered the re-entry process. The findings of this study are consistent with previous literature pertaining to military members who have returned from deployments, but also expand the information discussed in the literature. The unique findings of this study propose changes to the current programs available to military members and a adapted model of re-entry for military members. These new programs include adaptations to the military decompression program, the use of group therapy composed of other military members, the essential need to talk to others as an instrumental component of successful reintegration, and also an adapted model of re-entry for military members is proposed.

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