This paper examines the relationship between military service status (active duty, veteran, never served), sex, and six functional limitations/disabilities using data from the 5% sample of the 2000 U.S. Census. We estimate multivariate logistic regression models separately for men and women, and evaluate sex differences by comparing coefficients across models using a Wald chi-square test and computing predicted probabilities. For both men and women, the highest rates of functional limitation/disability are observed among veterans, while the lowest rates are recorded among active duty personnel. The increased odds of functional limitations/disabilities associated with veteran status is higher among women than men, whereas the decreased odds of functional limitations/disabilities associated with active duty status is lower among women than men. The predicted probabilities, which are based on a subgroup of 40–49 year olds with select sociodemographic characteristics, indicate that veteran women’s probabilities of many types of functional limitations/disabilities equal or exceed those of veteran men. Overall, the findings suggest women experience a more detrimental effect of past military service and a less beneficial effect of current military service. More life course analysis with longitudinal data that accounts for factors that influence sex-differentiation with respect to selection into military service, experiences in the military, and the short- and long-term consequences of military service is needed to fully understand sex differences in the relationship between military service and functional limitations/disabilities.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2010
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