TVMI: LINKING PROGRAM COMPONENTS TO POST-MILITARY WELL-BEING
Many veterans who leave military service each year thrive when they return to civilian life. However, a subset of veterans fail to successfully transition from military service, encountering family strife, unemployment, poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness as well as other readjustment challenges. Tens of thousands of transition assistance programs are offered by the public and private sectors in an effort to promote veteran well-being and to avoid the potentially negative outcomes associated with poor transition to civilian life. Yet no evidence-based methods exist to determine the actual impacts (if any) of these programs on veterans’ long-term well-being outcomes.
ABOUT THE TVMI STUDY
The Veterans Metrics Initiative: Linking Program Components to Post-Military Well-Being study (TVMI Study) is the first known research effort to longitudinally examine post-9/11 veterans’ transition and reintegration experiences, while simultaneously assessing outcomes impacted by specific components of transition assistance programs used. The study is administratively led by CP3, and scientifically directed by a multi-disciplinary team of qualified researchers from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and civilian academia and industry.
The TVMI Study, launched in April 2015, is a five-year longitudinal research study that has the following three aims:
- Document veteran well-being through the transition and reintegration period in four key domains: health (mental and physical), vocation (education and career), finances, and social relationships.
- Identify transition assistance programs veterans use as they reintegrate into civilian life, and distill the programs into their common components.
- Examine the link between common program components and veteran well-being throughout the transition and reintegration process.
The TVMI Study follows a cohort of veterans, identified within 0-90 days of separating from military service. Six comprehensive surveys will be administered at six month intervals (Waves 1-6) over the first three years of transition from military to civilian life. Each survey assessment records participant well-being across four domains: health (mental and physical), vocation (education and career), finances, and social relationships. Participants also identify transition assistance programs they used, if any. Following each assessment, the research team will identify changes in well-being across various demographic groups, analyze transition assistance programs identified to distill them into their common components, and examine links between common program components used and well-being outcomes.
In addition to the generation of important scientific knowledge, the TVMI Study will ultimately produce:
- A validated well-being measures instrument
- A menu of common program components shown by the evidence to drive successful veteran outcomes across multiple well-being domains
- A public-use dataset that can be used by others to better understand veteran well-being and program use along the transition continuum
The public benefit of the TVMI Study is to help funders, program developers, and veterans and their families identify programs that effectively address the needs of individual veterans.
For example, the TVMI Study will provide a veteran seeking help with social relationships criteria on which to choose one program over another. A funder will be able to support programs that are built with components that the evidence shows will work to achieve the goals that are important to the funder (e.g., improving veterans' health or vocation). Program developers will have information that will guide their energies in putting together effective services to offer to transitioning veterans. Society will benefit by having well-integrated veterans in our communities.
A total of 9,566 veterans completed the baseline comprehensive survey in the Fall of 2016. The TVMI Study cohort is highly representative of the entire recently transitioned population of all veterans (with over 1,500 veterans from each of the active components (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps), and more than 1,200 reserve component members who recently transitioned from activated status). Included in the study cohort are 1,743 female and 2,703 junior enlisted (i.e., paygrade E1-4) veterans. On June 24, 2017, Wave 2 of the study closed with 7,200 study participants completing the second of six surveys.