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Military spouse mental health outcomes after receiving short-term counseling services

APA Citation:

Prosek, E. A., Burgin, E. E., Pierce, K. L., & Ponder, W. N. (2023). Military spouse mental health outcomes after receiving short-term counseling services. The Family Journal, 31(4), 580-586. https://doi.org/10.1177/10664807231163259

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study investigated how mental health treatment accessed through community-based health centers contributes to the well-being of military families, particularly spouses and intimate partners of Service members. Military partners seeking counseling for a variety of reasons reported on their resilience (i.e., protective responses to stressful life events), anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms at intake and after 6 weeks of counseling (N = 71 at intake; N = 29 still attending therapy at the 6-week follow-up). At intake, partners with fewer depressive symptoms tended to report more resilience, but no improvements were apparent over time in resilience, anxiety symptoms, or depressive symptoms after attending 6 community-based counseling sessions.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Marine Corps
Air Force
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Spouse of service member or veteran


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


Cross sectional study
Longitudinal Study


Prosek, Elizabeth A., Burgin, Elizabeth E., Pierce, K. Lynn, Ponder, Warren N.


Research related to military spouses accessing community-based mental health care is limited. Evaluations identifying outcomes of anxiety, depressive symptoms, and resilience are scant. In this study, 71 military partners and spouses (age M?=?39.79, SD?=?11.32; 97.2% women) receiving counseling services at a nonprofit agency completed self-report measures of anxiety, depressive symptoms, and resilience pre?post a 6-week intervention. Less depressive symptoms predicted higher resilience at intake of services, with medium statistical significance. In pre?post analysis, no statistically significant changes were noted to anxiety, depressive symptoms, or resilience, with small to medium effect sizes and unimproved conditions with no clinical significance. This study represents an evaluation of services from a single site utilizing individual counseling services.

Publication Type:

REACH Publication


military spouse, mental health outcomes, short-term counseling

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  July 2023

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