Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Acculturation, Perceived Social Support, Coping Among Adult Overseas Military Families During Deployment
by Alegre-Cruz, P. Daisy, Ph.D., Capella University, 2018, 126; 10830286
Abstract (Summary)

The research on military families during deployments, especially in recent years, has been prolific but also, at times, contradictory. Some studies have reported increased risk while others have reported resilience. Possible reasons for the risk and resilience controversy, as well as the understudied population of overseas military families, were the subject of this study. Currently, there is no research on the experience of deployment for military families who are stationed in foreign countries. The exact number of family members is unknown; however, just under 200,000 military members serve overseas. The first research question examined the effect of duty station (continental United States, English-speaking host nation, and non-English speaking host nation) on a family member’s ability to cope. The second research question examined the relationship of acculturation with coping. The third research question examined the relationship of perceived social support with coping. It was hypothesized that families who were stationed overseas would be less able to cope, and that those who lived in non-English speaking host nations would experience even greater difficulty coping. Acculturation and perceived social support were identified as possible mediating factors for coping. Coping was measured using Carver’s COPE Inventory (2013) and limited to only three of the 15 subscales: positive reinterpretation and growth, use of instrumental social support, and use of emotional social support. This study used the contextual model of family stress as a theoretical framework for understanding the interplay of deployment, duty station, acculturation, and perceived social support and how they resulted in risk or resilience as measured by coping. This study was designed as descriptive survey research with convenience sampling as the main recruitment method. An electronic survey was created and data from 173 adult military family members, mostly female spouses, were used to conduct nonparametric hypotheses testing. Results from the Kruskal-Wallis test by ranks showed a non-significant effect of duty station on coping. Results from Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient revealed a weak association among acculturation and the subscales of coping, but a moderate, positive association between coping and perceived social support. The study was limited by the small sample size and lack of homogeneity among groups. Further research on this population is supported by the lack of literature and suggestions for future studies are presented.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ofei-Dodoo, Samuel
Commitee: Ottomanelli, Gennaro, Vail, Thomas
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 79/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Military studies
Keywords: Acculturation, Coping, Deployment, Family stress, Military, Perceived social support
Publication Number: 10830286
ISBN: 978-0-438-16161-0
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