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Meaning in Life in College Student Veterans

Title: Meaning in Life in College Student Veterans: Exploring Its Relationship to Career Thoughts and Depression.
Name(s): Buzzetta, Mary, author
Lenz, Janet G., 1953-, professor directing dissertation
Schatschneider, Christopher, university representative
Osborn, Debra S., 1968-, committee member
Sampson, James P., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (168 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: College student veterans may experience a variety of challenges as they transition from military life to student life, including adjusting to the academic environment, coping with mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, redefining their identities, and balancing multiple roles (e.g., family, school, and work). In addition, research indicates that veterans may experience difficulty in finding meaning and purpose outside of the military. The purpose of the current study was to add to the career development literature related to college student veterans and explore variables which may influence meaning and purpose in their lives, specifically career thoughts and depression. The current study utilized a passive observational research design to survey 132 college student veterans attending higher education institutions across different geographic locations in the United States. Regarding demographic characteristics, participants ranged across ages, military branches, and classification levels. Career thoughts was measured using the Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI), and depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale – Revised (CESD-R). Meaning in life was assessed using the presence of meaning and the search for meaning subscales of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ). A linear multiple regression analysis was used to determine if the total scores on the CTI and the CESD-R were significant positive predictors of scores on the MLQ. In addition, Pearson correlation analyses were utilized to understand the relationship between meaning in life and depression, as well as meaning in life and career thoughts. Moreover, beyond career thoughts and depression, this study also sought to explore whether or not there were differences in meaning in life scores among particular demographic variables, including gender and ethnicity. ANOVA analyses were used to examine differences in meaning in life scores among participant gender and ethnicity. Results of the analyses revealed that both career thoughts and depression were statistically significant predictors of the presence of meaning in one’s life, with 46% of the variance in the presence of meaning in life scores accounted for by total scores on the CTI and the CESD-R. Pearson correlation results indicated that all variables were statistically significant at alpha level of .01. Furthermore, results of ANOVA procedures showed no statistically significant differences in the presence of meaning in life scores, as well as in the search for meaning in life scores, for the gender and ethnicity variables. Limitations of the study and areas for future research are discussed. Lastly, implications for practitioners working with student veteran populations are included.
Identifier: FSU_SUMMER2017_Buzzetta_fsu_0071E_13110 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: April 18, 2016.
Keywords: career development, career thoughts, college student veterans, depression, meaning in life, mental health
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Janet Lenz, Professor Directing Dissertation; Christopher Schatschneider, University Representative; Debra Osborn, Committee Member; James Sampson, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Mental health
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Buzzetta, M. (2016). Meaning in Life in College Student Veterans: Exploring Its Relationship to Career Thoughts and Depression. Retrieved from