The differential impact of COVID-19 on the psychological stress of post-9/11 veterans: Gender, race, and ethnicity

Keith R. Aronson, Nicole R. Morgan, Jessie H. Rudi, Kimberly J. McCarthy, Daniel F. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to economic turndowns, social restrictions, and family life alterations. The stress induced by the public health crisis and its consequences are beginning to be explored. This study examined stress experiences since the pandemic'sonset in work, financial, social, and health domainsamong a large sample of post-9/11, United States military veterans. The sample, who separated from active-duty service or deactivated from active status in a reserve component in 2016, completed an online survey (n = 3180) in 2020. Participants were 70% White non-Hispanic, 81% male, and had an average age of 38 years. Frequencies and descriptive statistics were calculated. Female veterans and veterans of colour reported significantly higher levels of stress across most life domains. The results suggest White, male, post-9/11 veterans may be somewhat protected from COVID-19 stress, but that the pandemic is exacerbatinghealth and social disparities experienced by post-9/11 veterans of colour and female veterans. Supports and comprehensive care, particularly targeted towardsat-risk populations, are likely needed to provide sufficient resources for resiliency during and after the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStress and Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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