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A relational turbulence model of military service members' relational communication during reintegration

APA Citation:

Theiss, J. A., & Knobloch, L. K. (2013). A relational turbulence model of military service members' relational communication during reintegration. Journal of Communication, 63(6), 1109–1129. doi:10.1111/jcom.12059

Abstract Created by REACH:

In this study, researchers examined associations between relational turbulence (i.e., relational uncertainty and partner interference), relational communication (i.e., openness and aggressiveness), and relational inferences (i.e., affiliation and dominance) during the post-deployment transition (N = 220 Service members). Higher levels of relational turbulence predicted lower levels of openness and higher levels of aggressiveness during the post-deployment transition.



Branch of Service:

Air Force
Coast Guard
Marine Corps
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

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


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


Empirical Study
Quantitative Study


Theiss, Jennifer A., Knobloch, Leanne K.


This study employed the relational turbulence model to examine features of relational communication and dimensions of relational inferences during the postdeployment transition for military service members. We surveyed 220 military personnel who had recently returned home from deployment about their romantic relationship. Results of a structural equation model indicated that relational uncertainty and interference from partners predicted openness and aggressiveness, which in turn predicted appraisals of affiliation and dominance in the relationship. The results imply that the transition from deployment to reunion corresponds with upheaval in how service members communicate with a romantic partner and make judgments about their relationship.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Department of Communication, Rutgers University, JAT
Department of Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana, LKK


relational turbulence model, relational communication, relational inferences, post-deployment, military personnel, interpersonal communication, reintegration, romantic relationship

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

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