Social Disengagement and Military Enlistment: A Discrete-Time Event History Analysis Using the NLSY97

Lucky M. Tedrow, Western Washington University

Previous research suggests that being in the military leads veterans to engage in violent behavior. This research usually compares veterans to non-veterans, ignoring the possibility that people engaging in the troubled or violent behaviors may be more likely to enlist. The analysis presented in this paper improves upon previous research by employing a cumulative number of household moves experienced by the respondent, a comprehensive delinquency index and an index of substance use to assess the effect of social disengagement on enlistment for both males and females using the data available from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Another improvement over previous research is the use of a discrete time event history model of the time to enlistment that enables inclusion of numerous time-varying variables. Both the delinquency index and the cumulative number of moves are significantly related to military enlistment. The substance use index was not related to enlistment.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 9