, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1857-1862
Date: 28 Jan 2012

The effect of depression on the association between military service and life satisfaction

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of depression on the association between a history of military service and life satisfaction among a nationally representative sample of US men.

Methods

Data from 57,905 men were obtained from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance survey that assessed depression, history of military service, and life satisfaction. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted, controlling for demographics and physical health characteristics.

Results

In non-depressed men, a history of military service was associated with higher odds of life satisfaction, OR (95% CI) = 1.39 (1.07, 1.81). However, the interaction between depression and a history of military service was significant, OR (95% CI) = 0.56 (0.38–0.84), such that a history of military service was associated with equivalent odds of satisfaction in depressed men, OR (95% CI) = 0.78 (0.56–1.09).

Conclusions

Intervention efforts targeting depression in men with a history of military service may have a significant impact on their well-being. Future research should replicate these findings, examine potential mechanisms of the effects, and study the utility of life satisfaction measures in this population.