"You can freak out or deal with it" : military wives' perspectives on communication and family resilience, coping, and support during deployment

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Title: "You can freak out or deal with it" : military wives' perspectives on communication and family resilience, coping, and support during deployment
Author: Rossetto, Kelly Renee
Abstract: This study investigates the process of resilience from the perspective of military wives during deployment . The study had two main goals : 1 ) to further understand the deployment experience , as it is lived personally and within the family , and 2 ) to develop a theory -based resilience model , guided by family stress and resilience theory , highlighting the role of communication within the family resilience process . According to the FAAR Model (Patterson , 1988 ; 2002 ) , resilience involves three components : meanings , demands , and capabilities . Based on the goals of the study and the three main components of resilience , five broad research questions guided the study : How do military spouses perceive , interpret , and make meaning of their experience with spousal deployment ? How do spouses cope with the spousal deployment experience ? How do spouses perceive the family deployment and coping experience ? What supportive resources and responses are most helpful for military spouses during spousal deployment , and why ? And what supportive resources and responses are most unhelpful for military spouses during spousal deployment , and why ? The data are also viewed through a lens of ambiguous loss theory (Boss , 1999 ; 2004 ; 2006 ; 2007 ) , as deployment is a stressful situation that incorporates uncertainty , loss , and a presence -absence paradox for spouses and families . To investigate these questions and develop these theories , in -depth interviews were conducted with 26 military wives who were currently experiencing deployment . The results illustrate various aspects of women’s perceptions of their deployment experiences , including how they make sense of these experiences . Women did not only discuss their own personal experiences ; they also reported experiences at relational and family levels . Paralleling these tri -level perceptions of the experience , women’s approaches to coping also occurred at individual , relational , and family levels . Different coping strategies within each level are outlined and discussed . Finally , women’s perceptions and evaluations of the responses they receive from others , both supportive and unsupportive , are reported and discussed . Based on the results , a transactional model of family resilience , highlighting the central role of communication , is proposed . Implications for theory (e .g . , stress and resilience theories , ambiguous loss theory ) and practice are discussed . Future directions for research are explored .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /6609
Date: 2009-10-22

Citation

"You can freak out or deal with it" : military wives' perspectives on communication and family resilience, coping, and support during deployment. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /6609 .

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