Purpose/Objective: The objective of this cross-sectional study was to assess how psychosocial variables predict U.K. military veterans’ level of engagement in bespoke recovery pathways (Aim 1) and a sportsspecific recovery pathway (Aim 2). A further purpose of this study was to test whether predictor variables indirectly predict outcome variables of physical health (Aim 3), mental health (Aim 4), and subjective vitality (Aim 5), when mediated through level of engagement with all recovery pathways and the sport recovery pathway. Research Method/Design: A cross-sectional battery of questionnaires were completed by 514 military veterans who had been enrolled in Help for Heroes recovery pathways (e.g., sports recovery pathway) from 3 months to 10 years. Data were analyzed by multinomial logistic and multiple linear regressions and mediation analyses using the PROCESS SPSS macro. Results: Engagement in all recovery pathways (i.e., frequency and duration of attendance) was predicted by basic psychological needs frustration and perceived social support (Nagelkerke R 2 =.16). Sport-related social support (p <.05) and competence satisfaction (p <.001) were directly positively associated with mental health, and competence satisfaction with physical health (p <.001) and well-being (p,.001) on the sport recovery pathway. While perceived stress was directly negatively associated with mental health and well-being (p <.001). Mediation analyses revealed no significant, indirect effects of psychosocial variables on health and wellbeing through level of engagement. Conclusions/Implications: In sum, engagement in recovery pathways does not mediate the effects of psychosocial variables on veterans’ health and well-being. Perceived social support, satisfaction of veterans’ needs, and perceived stress were better predictors of health and well-being outcomes and should be an important focus of future research and recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date29 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Motivation
  • Need support
  • Recovery pathway
  • Social support
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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