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PLoS One. 2016 May 17;11(5):e0154203. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154203. eCollection 2016.

Are There Spillover Effects from the GI Bill? The Mental Health of Wives of Korean War Veterans.

Author information

1
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States of America.
2
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.
3
Department of Global Health and Populations, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.
4
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States of America.
5
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, United States of America.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Korean War GI Bill provided economic benefits for veterans, thereby potentially improving their health outcomes. However potential spillover effects on veteran wives have not been evaluated.

METHODS:

Data from wives of veterans eligible for the Korean War GI Bill (N = 128) and wives of non-veterans (N = 224) from the Health and Retirement Study were matched on race and coarsened birth year and childhood health using coarsened exact matching. Number of depressive symptoms in 2010 (average age = 78) were assessed using a modified, validated Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. Regression analyses were stratified into low (mother < 8 years schooling / missing data, N = 95) or high (mother ≥ 8 years schooling, N = 257) childhood socio-economic status (cSES) groups, and were adjusted for birth year and childhood health, as well as respondent's educational attainment in a subset of analyses.

RESULTS:

Husband's Korean War GI Bill eligibility did not predict depressive symptoms among veteran wives in pooled analysis or cSES stratified analyses; analyses in the low cSES subgroup were underpowered (N = 95, β = -0.50, 95% Confidence Interval: (-1.35, 0.35), p = 0.248, power = 0.28).

CONCLUSIONS:

We found no evidence of a relationship between husband's Korean War GI Bill eligibility and wives' mental health in these data, however there may be a true effect that our analysis was underpowered to detect.

PMID:
27186983
PMCID:
PMC4871362
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0154203
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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