Military service has profound effects on health and well-being across the lifespan. On the one hand, veterans are a select population, having been selected for good health at entry to the military (i.e., the “healthy soldier” effect; Seltzer & Jablon, 1974). On the other hand, they have been exposed to conditions that can have short- and long-term effects. These potential effects, both positive and negative, can be found in multiple domains of functioning — in physical and mental health, or in social and economic relations – in later life.
Because military experience was common among those born in the first third of the 20th century, and they are now in their later years, military service seems to be a “hidden variable” that lurks beneath much of our knowledge of aging, especially men’s aging (Settersten, 2006; Spiro, Schnurr, & Aldwin, 1997).
In 2010, we received an R24 grant from the National Institute on Aging, R24 AG039343, “Lifespan Outcomes of Military Service,” which supported a number of activities, including this website. It is our hope to spur additional longitudinal research on the positive and negative long-term effects of military service.
Carolyn M. Aldwin, Ph.D.
Jo Anne Leonard Endowed Director
Center for Healthy Aging Research
College of Public Health and Human Sciences
424 Waldo Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331-5102
Richard A. Settersten Jr., Ph.D.
Oregon State University School of Public Health
Endowed Director of Hallie E. Ford Center for
Healthy Children & Families
Hallie E. Ford Center
2631 SW Campus Way, Room 125
Corvallis, OR 97331-8687
Avron Spiro III, Ph.D.
Boston University School of Public Health
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and
Information Center (MAVERIC), VA Boston Healthcare System
150 S Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02130