The longitudinal course of the psychological health (PH) of United States Air Force (USAF) base communities in relation to risk and demographic factors was studied over a 5-year period. PH (clinically significant hazardous drinking, prescription drug misuse, depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, intimate partner violence [IPV] and child abuse) and risk (personal and family adjustment, workplace adjustment, broader community adjustment) and demographic factors (age and gender distribution) were operationalized at the aggregate level for bases (N = 77) as measured in three large scale surveys of USAF active duty members. Bases whose members collectively exhibited greater levels of risk collectively experienced greater initial problems with alcohol and drug use, depression, suicidality, and physical IPV. Hazardous drinking more quickly increased at bases whose members were younger and more male, and at those with poorer initial aggregate personal adjustment and workplace adjustment. The challenges of studying the community-level course of PH are highlighted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology