Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Flaherty


The United States has been in continuous military conflicts for the past two decades. The importance of having a fully capable fighting force is unquestionable, but too often, military units are not at full capacity due to service members (SMs) within a unit being unable to deploy due to mental health impediments. The surge of non-deployable SMs is a national security concern as it affects the SMs’ quality of life and Department of Defense’s (DoD) ability to fight today’s conflicts.

This study bolsters military ACE research because it sampled more female and officer participants compared to extant military ACE studies. I applied a cross-sectional web-based survey design to recruit SMs in each branch of the US military and analyzed a sample of 600 participants across multiple branches of the US Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard military to test the predictor variables of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Though the rate of ACEs in this sample were unexpectedly higher than the civilian population, the data from this study and literature review suggest that intervention is appropriate and necessary to reduce the DoD’s non-deployable problem. It could also simultaneously improve the forces’ wellbeing by identifying ACEs in SMs upon their entry into service.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)