Australian servicewomen 180The predictors for mental health disorders and psychological symptoms among Australian servicewomen and female war veterans will be examined by researchers for the first time.

The research, funded through a Repat Foundation research grant in South Australia, will lead to better health monitoring and surveillance programs for Australian Defence Force (ADF) servicewomen.

Lead researcher Dr Ellie Lawrence-Wood, from the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies at the University of Adelaide, said the study would address the significant gap in current understanding regarding the mental health of contemporary deployed and non-deployed Australian Defence Force servicewomen.

“We know there is an increased risk for affective disorders among ADF females compared to females in the general community, and the higher rates of anxiety disorders among ADF females compared to males, so an understanding of risk and resilience factors in this population is critically important,” he said.

She added that the research would reflect increased female workforce participation, and the growing female veteran population in Australia and worldwide.

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