Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Michael P. Twohig


Michael P. Twohig


Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez


Michael E. Levin


Timothy A. Slocum


Melissa Tehee


There are 18 million Americans, roughly 7% of the population, who are Veterans. In contrast with the general population, Veterans have a high likelihood of exposure to psychological harm during their military service. For example, studies indicate Veterans are diagnosed with anxiety disorders in some cases four times higher than in the general population, though few studies examine treatment. Military culture is an additional factor which is important to account for when treating Veterans. For example, within the military an emphasis is placed on values and committed action which may mean this population will benefit more from certain therapies than others such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT places an emphasis on making values-based choices even when anxiety is present, which aligns well with military culture. As such, the present study aims to test ACT for anxiety in Veterans using a multiple baseline design and a culturally adapted treatment protocol consisting of 10 treatment sessions. Four participants were recruited and completed the treatment protocol with all participants showing significant improvements in their ability to make values-consistent choices even when feeling distress, and increased meaningful engagement in their lives. Three participants maintained these treatment gains at the one-month follow-up. Participants indicated the modifications made to the protocol were effective in helping them utilize the skills learned in treatment. The results of this study indicate that ACT shows promise as a relevant and acceptable treatment in this population.



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Psychology Commons