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Long-Term Outcomes of Military Service: The Health and Well-Being of Aging Veterans


American Psychological Association, December 2018

Long-Term Outcomes of Military Service: The Health and Well-Being of Aging Veterans cover

Several faculty members and a Ph.D. candidate from the Maxwell School’s Department of Sociology and Syracuse University’s Aging Studies Institute have contributed to a groundbreaking new book published by the American Psychological Association. The newly released book, Long-Term Outcomes of Military Service: The Health and Well-Being of Aging Veterans, includes a set of original longitudinal studies that examine the effects of military service during World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War and the Vietnam War on aging and a variety of later-life processes and outcomes.

The different chapters in the book present crucial insights into the impact of military service on older adults and the life course. Topic areas include the effects of combat and stress on longevity, health, and brain functioning; the use of memory, cognition, and ego development at various points in life; the relationship between experiences of discrimination and the later development of PTSD; marriage longevity; employment; experiences; and the way notions of patriotism and nationalism are transmitted intergenerationally and may change over time among veterans and their children

“What we know about the long-term consequences of military service for aging and the life course has been substantially expanded with the publication of this important book,” says Associate Dean and Professor of Sociology Andrew S. London, who contributed to the book. “These studies provide strong foundations for future, necessary research to understand the consequences of Vietnam War service, and service during the more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on aging and the life course.” 

S researchers contributed to three of the fifteen chapters in the book and an online appendix in multiple combinations of co-authorship

Professors Merril Silverstein, Andrew S. London, and Janet M. Wilmoth wrote a chapter on “Nationalism and Patriotism Among World War II Veterans and Their Baby-Boom Children.”

Professors Wilmoth, London, and PhD candidate William J. Oliver wrote a chapter that examines “Military Service Experiences and Older Men’s Trajectories of Self-Rated Health.”

Assistant Professor Scott D. Landes and two non-SU collaborators, Monika Ardelt and Dr. Ann T. Landes, collaborated on a chapter exploring the veteran mortality differential, or more specifically, “The Influence of War Era and Smoking Behavior.

An online appendix resulted from a collaboration between Wilmoth, Landes, and London and their non-SU collaborator, Alair MacLean, “Recommendations for Defining Periods of Military Service and Corresponding Age-18 Cohorts.

The book is edited by Avron Spiro III, Richard A. Settersten, Jr., and Carolyn M. Aldwin.

-- Edy Semaan, MA International Relations/MS Public Relations, anticipated '19