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Approved Research

The Effect of Combat Exposure on Drinking Behavior, Happiness, and Subjective Well-Being.

Principal Investigator: Mr Paul McKee
Approved Research ID: 67200
Approval date: January 11th 2021

Lay summary

Combat, as just one one of many traumatic events a person may be exposed to in their life, is not just seen by active duty military members. Around the world, civilians are living in war zones or exposed to the hardships of combat. Prior research has shown a link between combat exposure and negative life consequences. These include but are not limited to increased interpersonal conflict, nicotine dependence, PTSD, and worse self-reported health.

However, causal relationships between combat exposure and outcome variables such as substance use, mental health concerns, and a myriad other, have not yet been identified.  The many studies thus far have been limited, due to ethical considerations, to observational data. These observational studies offer only non-causal relationships. This study will utilize the immense data of UK Biobank along with Rubin-Causal Modeling to create hypothetical experiments in which causal inferences can be made. 

UK Biobank's data will help to define for the first time the causal relationship between exposure to combat and drinking behaviors, happiness, and subjective well-being. The public health impact is large and will affect policy makers, treatment centers, and combat exposed individuals. The goal is to provide new information for development of interventions and awareness campaigns.