Does Couple Wellbeing Mediate the Relationship Between Military Stressors/Supports and Psychological Outcomes in Military Wives?
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling
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This study examined the relationships between military stressors and supports, couple wellbeing, and the psychological outcomes of military wives. Systems focused theories, specifically the ABCX Model of Family Stress and the Marital Discord Model of Depression, were used to identify and explain such relationships. A structural equation model indicated that social support from the military community was directly associated with higher levels of personal wellbeing among military wives. In addition, military wives who were more satisfied with military life tended to indicate higher levels of couple wellbeing, suggesting an association with healthier interpersonal dynamics with their active duty partner, which also was associated with better psychological health, namely lower levels of depressive symptoms and higher levels of personal wellbeing. Results demonstrated that the couple relationship appeared to be the most salient resource and leverage point for intervention. Moreover, bivariate correlations indicated that military wives who were married longer tended to report greater community connections and that wives of enlisted service members reported being more dissatisfied with aspects of military life. The implications of these findings and areas of further research in the field of counseling and for the United States Armed Forces are discussed.