Deployment and Risky Behavior: The Dissociation
Mentor:Virgil H. Adams III, Program Chair & Professor of Psychology, California State University Channel Islands
Research on the effects of deployment, personal or familial, on one’s tendency to engage in risky behaviors has concluded with varying results. Some studies have argued that facing deployment increases one’s engagement in risky behaviors (Kelley et al., 2012). In addition, similar studies have found an increase in risky behaviors in the family members of those deployed (Padden, Connors, & Agazio, 2011). In opposition to these findings, some studies suggest that deployment has no effect on an increase in risky behaviors, rather, other factors, such as mental disorders, are influential (Leardmann et al., 2013). The present study examines risky behaviors in those who have faced deployment or had a family member face deployment using the Risk Propensity scale. Reports were evaluated using responses taken from a sub-sample of a larger survey completed by Southern California adults (n=758). It was hypothesized that facing deployment, in either context, would not increase the tendency to engage in risky behaviors. Results supported this in that not only did deployment not increase risky behavior, those who had not experienced deployment showed a higher risk tendency than those who did not. Discussion focuses on the relationship of deployment and risky behaviors.