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Social networking, social support, and well-being for the military spouse

APA Citation:

Seagle, E. S., Xu, J., Edwards, N., & McComb, S. A. (2021). Social networking, social support, and well-being for the military spouse. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 17(5), 600-604. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2020.12.013

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined how military spouses’ Facebook activity (i.e., frequency of use and usefulness of others’ posts) related to their perceived social support, and physical and mental well-being. A sample of 119 Air Force spouses in a military spouse Facebook group completed questionnaires regarding the usefulness of different types of military-related Facebook posts, how they support others on Facebook, their own posting frequency, their perceived social support (i.e., practical, informational, and emotional), physical well-being (e.g., inability to be as active as desired), mental well-being (e.g., feeling sad, depressed, or anxious), and demographic characteristics (e.g., having a spouse deployed, length of time living on a base). In particular, when military-related Facebook posts were perceived as useful (e.g., informational and assistance requests were acknowledged, base announcements were relevant), military spouses reported greater feelings of support.


Mental health
Physical health

Branch of Service:

Air Force

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Spouse of service member or veteran


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)


Cross-Sectional Study
Quantitative Study


Seagle, Erika S., Xu, Jiayun, Edwards, Nancy, McComb, Sara A.


Military spouses experience unique stressors due to service member deployments and frequent relocations. Our purpose is to examine how military spouses use social networking groups, such as Facebook, and determine how this use was related to perceived social support and well-being. We found more frequent Facebook use was associated with decreased well-being compared with those who reported using Facebook less frequently. Practitioners may enhance the care provided to military spouses by inquiring about their circumstances, social media use, and helping them to identify social support services that may mitigate stress and improve well-being.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:


Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Flight Nurse US Air Force Reserve, ESS
Assistant Professor, Purdue University School of Nursing, JX
Purdue University School of Nursing, NE
Purdue University School of Nursing, SAM
Purdue University School of Industrial Engineering, SAM


family, military, social media, social support, well-being

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  July 2021

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