Evidence suggests that UK veterans are seen as victims with a consequent elevation of concern for their perceived mental health needs. The present study examined sociodemographic factors that contribute to victimising conceptualisations of British Army Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Participants (N=234) provided three word-associations to “British Army Iraq Veteran” and “British Army Afghanistan Veteran” and answered sociodemographic questions. A Multiple Linear Regression outlines that low national pride, opposition towards the missions and higher levels of education predict elevated levels of victimizing word-associations. Narrative accounts from 21 interviewed UK participants suggest that participants who did not perceive the recent conflicts as legitimate conceptualise veterans as passive, naïve actors who had to submit to the anthropomorphic agency of the government. This allowed holding overtly appreciative though belittling attitudes towards veterans, while opposing the missions. To dissociate veterans from victimizing perceptions, better knowledge about service and justifications for deployments need to be provided.
Phillips, RitaConnelly, Vincent
Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-01-06