Factors Associated With Civilian Employment, Work Satisfaction, and Performance Among National Guard Members

Objective:Employment is a vital part of the postdeployment return to civilian life. This study investigated factors associated with employment-related outcomes (employment status, self-reported work performance, and self-reported work satisfaction) among National Guard members returning from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn deployments.Methods:The sample consisted of 1,151 National Guard service members who had returned from overseas deployments approximately six months earlier. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were performed to examine associations between predictors and employment-related outcome variables.Results:Higher-risk alcohol use was associated with reduced odds of being employed as well as with lower ratings of work satisfaction, whereas psychiatric symptom load was associated with lower self-reported work performance and work satisfaction ratings. Perceived social resources were associated with higher self-reported work performance and work satisfaction, whereas better physical functioning was associated with better self-reported work performance.Conclusions:Policy makers and clinicians may need to consider and assess alcohol use among unemployed National Guard members. They may also need to consider psychiatric symptom load and physical functioning among employed service members who perceive poor work performance and have low work satisfaction. Further research is needed on causal links between these predictors and employment outcomes.