Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Alexa Smith-Osborne


More organizations, researchers, and practitioners are now measuring social support with military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD; however, many are measuring very different specific variables under the overarching title of social support. These differences have created complications when interpreting the data. A number of different outcomes have been noted in empirical research regarding the relationship between military PTSD and social support.. This is a secondary analysis of previously published research, similar to a research synthesis. George Ritzer's (1989) metatheoretical analysis method is used. Social exchange theory and social network theory are discussed as they relate to social support theory. Three research questions are answered by the following points: First, social support theory evolved in response to an onslaught of research in stress theory. Next, when measuring social support, it is important to specify the particular conceptualization and type of support. Also, measurement of stress with specificity of types of stress is important when addressing social supports with the intention of positive health outcomes. Lastly, social work can help guide research in social support and PTSD by creating and evaluating models of research design that are specific. Three models of research design are proposed in the discussion section of the paper. In order for social work practitioners to apply social support research with intervention for PTSD, then practitioners must have empirical evidence that such application is beneficial with population-specific variables in mind. This project adds to the knowledge base of social work, so that social workers may more confidently interpret social support data when considering its contributions to intervention targeted towards military PTSD.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons