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A model of deployment readiness among military spouses: The role of mental health and deployment-related personal growth

APA Citation:

Richardson, S. M., Pflieger, J. C., Woodall, K. A., Stander, V. A., & Riviere, L. A. (2020). A model of deployment readiness among military spouses: The role of mental health and deployment-related personal growth. Military Behavioral Health, 8(4), 378-395. https://doi.org/10.1080/21635781.2020.1825240

Abstract Created by REACH:

Using a sample of 5,748 military couples, this study examined whether Service members’ deployment-related risks (i.e., number of previous deployments, combat exposure, deploymentrelated injury) and spouses’ deployment-related resources (i.e., formal and informal support, communication during most recent deployment) were associated with spouses’ deployment readiness (i.e., ability to manage demands of deployment). Further, Service members’ and spouses’ mental health (e.g., emotional wellbeing, social functioning) as well as spouses’ personal growth were examined as factors that may explain the associations between Service members’ deployment risks, spouses’ deployment-related resources, and spouses’ deployment readiness. Demographics (e.g., age, gender), service characteristics (e.g., rank), and marital satisfaction were included as covariates. Deployment-related risks and resources were directly and indirectly related to spousal deployment readiness through Service members’ and spouses’ mental health and spousal personal growth.

Focus:

Couples
Deployment

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty
Guard
Reserve

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Guard/Reserve member
Spouse of service member or veteran

Population:

Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)

Methodology:

Cross-Sectional Study
Quantitative Study
Secondary Analysis

Authors:

Richardson, Sabrina M., Pflieger, Jacqueline C., Woodall, Kelly A., Stander, Valerie A., Riviere, Lyndon A.

Abstract:

The purpose of the current investigation was to examine deployment-related risks, resources, and mediators contributing to military spouse perception of readiness for future service member deployments. We used data from 5,748 spouses and service members with two to five years of service (90% female spouses, M age = 27.54), all having experienced at least one deployment. The impact of deployment risks (number of prior deployments, combat exposure, deployment injury) and resources (formal and informal support, communication during the last deployment) were analyzed within a path modeling framework. Mediators of these relations were investigated, including service member and spouse mental health and spouse deployment-related personal growth. We found a well-fitting model suggesting a combination of direct and indirect effects on spouse perception of deployment readiness. Findings indicated that service member combat and injury negatively impacted spouse perception of deployment readiness through detriments to service member and spouse mental health. However, informal support and deployment communication were positively related to mental health for both partners, leading to improved spouse-perceived deployment readiness. Additionally, all resources contributed to spouses’ personal growth, a relatively strong mechanism for spouse-perceived deployment readiness. These findings suggest application through promotion of resources or by directly targeting mediating mechanisms to offset deployment risk.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Taylor & Francis

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication
Featured Research

Author Affiliation:

Leidos, SMR
DoD Center for Deployment Health, Naval Health Research Center, SMR
DoD Center for Deployment Health, Naval Health Research Center, JCP
Leidos, KAW
DoD Center for Deployment Health, Naval Health Research Center, KAW
DoD Center for Deployment Health, Naval Health Research Center, VAS
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, LAR

Keywords:

deployment, family readiness, mental health, personal growth, social support

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

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