Episode 120 - Dr. Nikki Wooten: Gender Differences Among Army Service Members in Substance Use Treatment Utilization During the Year Prior to Deployment

Monday, May 27, 2013, 12:52:47 PM

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In this episode, Dr. Nikki Wooten, herself an Army officer, describes her current research into the gender differences related to substance use treatment utilization of Army members in the year prior to their deployment. Her findings reveal the unique needs of women in our military, especially as they play an increasing role in our armed services.

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Average Rating: 4stars  lack of women's utilization of military help services, Sunday, January 31, 2016

By Qalam :

This was an important podcast for us working with the military population because the number of women veterans is increasing. Women’s lack of utilization of services and gender disparities in health services is associated with a lack of services available for this group. For example the VA in Buffalo does not have a GYN department-this is problem. Dr. Wooten elucidated issues such as identification of how clients are referred to services and externalizing behaviors but women tend to suffer with their problems in silence; often not engaging in those externalizing behaviors, therefore how do services reach this group although their needs are similar to their male counterparts? Women have taken on larger roles in the military therefore research in this undeserved population is critical. I am currently involved in research on veteran homelessness and substance abuse and there is a lack of women tend to use those services due to MST (Military Sexual Trauma) as well as service related trauma, family and readjustment issues (Hamilton, Poza & Washington, 2011). I work with veterans and have witnessed those challenges women face within the military culture that follows them in VA service organizations. Family issues such as childcare, domestic violence issue and pregnancy also are factors that may influence women’s decision to seek services. Then the question becomes how can the military begin to implement services to deal with women’s unique issues? And, how can programs such as Veterans Administration do a better job of incorporating services that address women’s unique needs? Dr. Wooten’s research is welcomed and much needed in the Social Work field. Lastly, I appreciate Dr. Nochajski bringing up the issue of active duty suicide which I believe is a problem that needs further research and attention.

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Average Rating: 5stars  a study that will help better understand an unspoken issue, Saturday, February 08, 2014

By Robert Cole :

Dr. Wooten’s research sounds very applicable to our current military situations. With a smaller military force that has endured repeated deployments, women and men, are encountering increased stressors. In addition to stressors encountered from combat operations, the service members are experiencing a wide array of stressors related to their “non-military” life and other types of trauma such as sexual abuse (both males and females). One way that service members do cope with these stressors is with self-medication through drugs and alcohol. I would recommend that a variable that Dr. Wooten may want to include is whether the individuals are mandated (officially or unofficially) to seek treatment. From personal observations in the military, it seemed peers only sought treatment if mandated by the senior members. I should note that I was only assigned to combat units that only had females in administrative roles. I do think that Dr. Wooten makes a valid point that male service members are more likely to externalize their stress. Dr. Wooten’s study seems very admirable and the results will be useful, as long as we remember that though surveys are de-identified, the fear does exist that complete honesty may lead to negative career consequences. I feel Dr. Wooten does attempt to mitigate this with open-ended questions that will allow for feedback that is more personal. Thank you to both Dr. Nochajski and Dr. Wooten for your service.

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