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Coping behaviors used by Army wives during deployment separation and their perceived effectiveness

APA Citation:

Blank, C., Adams, L. A., Kittelson, B., Connors, R. A., & Padden, D. L. (2012). Coping behaviors used by Army wives during deployment separation and their perceived effectiveness. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 24(11), 660-668. doi:10.1111/j.1745-7599.2012.00766.x

Abstract Created by REACH:

It is important for military spouses to use effective coping strategies during deployment to avoid mental and physical health problems. Wives of Active Duty Soldiers completed surveys regarding coping strategies used during deployment and the perceived efficacy of those strategies. Overall, the more effective a coping strategy was perceived to be, the more commonly wives used that strategy, with the most commonly used coping strategies being optimism (e.g., thinking positively and maintaining a positive attitude) and seeking support (e.g., family, friends, professionals, religion).


Mental health
Physical health

Branch of Service:


Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Spouse of service member or veteran
Military families


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


Empirical Study
Quantitative Study


Blank, Cherie, Adams, Lori A., Kittelson, Brian, Connors, Rebecca A., Padden, Diane L.


Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to describe the coping behaviors used by Army wives during deployment separation, the perceived effectiveness of the coping behaviors used, and the correlation between the two variables. Data sources: A secondary analysis was conducted to examine coping use and perceived effectiveness, measured by the Jalowiec Coping Scale (JCS), in a sample of 102 Army wives surveyed during deployment separation. Conclusions: The most used coping subscales from the JCS were the optimistic and supportant and the most effective were the supportant and confrontive. The strongest correlations between coping use and effectiveness were found in the supportant subscale, which measures use of support systems (r= 0.77, p < .00), and the confrontive subscale, which includes behaviors of constructive problem solving (r= 0.62, p < .00). The use and effectiveness of individual behaviors are also identified. Implications for practice: Identifying effective and ineffective coping behaviors of spouses of deployed troops can potentially reduce stress and improve well-being. Primary care providers should encourage military spouses to engage in optimistic thinking, seek out spiritual support, talk to others in a similar situation, and participate in physical activity. Disclosure The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Department of the Defense, or the United States government.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Naval Hospital, CB
Buckley Air Force Base, LAA
Oregon Health and Science University, BK
Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, RAC
Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, DLP


jalowiec coping scale, military, primary care, stress and coping, women

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

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