Military sexual trauma among women Veterans: The buffering effect of coworker support

Nicholas A. Smith, Jacquelyn M. Brady, Leslie B. Hammer, Kathleen F. Carlson, Cynthia D. Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Prior research has demonstrated the impact of military sexual trauma (MST) on health and well-being. However, little empirical work has been published identifying protective factors for women who have experienced MST. We examined the impact of two different forms of MST, harassment-only and assault MST, on PTSD symptoms and social functional impairment in a sample of women Veterans employed in the civilian workforce. The effects of MST were examined at three different times over a period of 9 months. We found that MST that included both harassment and assault was associated with significantly higher levels of PTSD symptoms and social functional impairment across three different time points among women Veterans employed in civilian jobs. Further, the pattern of results suggested that coworker support can buffer against these negative outcomes experienced by women who reported assault MST. Overall, findings suggest that coworker support is one critical resource for women Veterans who experienced assault MST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020


  • Military sexual trauma
  • PTSD
  • coworker support
  • sexual assault
  • women Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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