The sheer size of the baby boomer cohort has prompted a great deal of research on life outcomes and potential social strain or benefit of such a large cohort. A major contingency for the baby boomers was the experience of the Vietnam War. Many young men had their life course trajectories interrupted when they were drafted to military service or enrolled in college in an effort to evade the draft. This study uses the Life Family Legacies data to investigate how the Vietnam War may have affected later-life health outcomes of this cohort. Comparing physical health as captured by activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), this study found that baby boomer veterans' outcomes are similar to those of their nonveteran peers. When comparing mental health outcomes by prevalence of PTSD, findings show that those veterans who served in combat or combat support units are much more likely to show persistent signs of PTSD. Findings from this study suggest that the effects of combat are a crucial distinction when comparing outcomes between veterans and nonveterans.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Marsala, Miles Steven, "Baby Boomers and the Vietnam War: A life Course Approach to Aging Vietnam Veterans" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 5999.
life course, aging, baby boomers, Vietnam War