School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Daria White


Combat Veteran, Veteran Suicide, Trauma, Support, Civilian-inflicted Trauma




The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand combat veterans and their social supporters’ experiences related to trauma and mitigating combat veteran suicide. The research questions were: What are combat veterans and their social supporters’ understandings and experiences related to trauma? What do combat veterans and their social supporters identify as significant aspects of support in mitigating suicidal ideation and suicide? The theories guiding this study were interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide and the psychache theory as these theories address the connections between suicidal thought processes and the trauma that contributes to them. This multiple case study consisted of open-ended interviews with combat veterans and their social supporters. Thematic coding was utilized to analyze collected data. Findings consisted of six themes: emotions, traumatic experiences, behavioral changes or transitions, support, and suicide. The discussion highlighted veteran marital complications, military maltreatment, perceptions of support, and what was deemed useful for helping combat veterans cope with trauma and reduce suicide ideation. The main recommendations from this research are to increase peer support and further research into stigmas experienced by combat veterans.

Available for download on Saturday, May 13, 2023

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