School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


William Bird


Female Veterans, Reintegration, Veteran, Religiosity, Spirituality, Veteran Transition


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to describe the lived experience of female veterans who utilized religiosity/spirituality as a coping strategy to deal with challenges faced while reintegrating back to civilian life. Currently most research that looks at the reintegration process of veterans focus on male veterans and are quantitative in nature. This study sought to take a closer look at female veterans and their reintegration experiences, and how their use of religiosity or spirituality impacted challenges faced. The research question to frame this study was: What is the impact of religiosity/spirituality on the civilian reintegration of female veterans. The theories guiding this study were Schlossberg (1981) model of human transition, and religion and spirituality as viewed by humanistic psychology and as a protective factor. Data was collected from twelve female veterans using semi-structure interviews. Data analysis for this study utilized Moustakas’ four step process for data analysis. From the data analysis five themes emerged: being a female in the military is different, leaving one culture moving into another, adapting to a new culture faced with new challenges, building resiliency through faith, and faith is key. Each of these themes were directly connected and answered the central research question for this study. The research findings support the usefulness of religiosity and spirituality in helping female veterans cope with reintegration challenges, while also helping them gain a greater capacity to cope with life stressors.

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