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Spouse psychological well-being: A keystone to military family health

APA Citation:

Green, S., Nurius, P. S., & Lester, P. (2013). Spouse psychological well-being: A keystone to military family health. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 23(6), 753-768. doi:10.1080/10911359.2013.795068

Abstract Created by REACH:

Female civilian spouses of Active Duty Service members were surveyed to compare distress and stressor levels to community averages. The relationships among family stress and strain, social support, demographic variables, and distress were also assessed. Spouses of Service members reported significantly higher levels of general distress compared to the community average, with family stress and strain contributing significantly to spouses’ distress.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Marine Corps
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)


Empirical Study
Quantitative Study


Green, Sara, Nurius, Paula S., Lester, Patricia


Understanding predictors of military spouse psychosocial vulnerability informs efforts to assess, identify, and support at-risk spouses and families. In this analysis, we test the effects of family stress and strain on military spouse psychological health, using a sample of female civilian spouses (n = 161). Regression findings confirm expectations of the significant contribution of family stressors, strain, and resources in explaining variation in spouses' psychological health, controlling for deployment and socioeconomic factors. Identifying the effects of family stress on military spouse psychological health supports the need for family-centered interventions and prevention programs.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Taylor & Francis

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

School of Social Work, University of Washington, SG
School of Social Work, University of Washington, PSN
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California Los Angeles, PL


deployment, mental health, military family, military spouse, social support, stress

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary


National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, US, Grant Number: R03 HD049451
National Institute of Mental Health, Mental Health Prevention Research Training Program, US, Grant Number: 5 T32 MH20010

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