Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The military experience: Perceptions from senior military officers' wives
by McGowan, Henrietta C., Ph.D., Capella University, 2008, 155; 3324820
Abstract (Summary)

Mass media offers daily news on the military personnel who are deployed into harm's way to fight for freedom and protect and defend our country. Stories also report on the families and military spouses left behind, with recognition of the daily challenges and demands they face. Researchers have investigated various facets of the life of military wives in an attempt to gain knowledge and understanding of their struggles and needs. Studies have examined female military spouses in two general categories: enlisted wives and officers' wives. There is another smaller population of women—senior officers' wives—that has been ignored by scholars and their academic literature. Studies report data to support outcomes of depression, stress, coping, and skills of military wives in general, but little is known about the lives of senior officers' wives. This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of 8 women married to some of the most senior officers in the U.S. military. The researcher presented the perceptions of these women in the identification of stress—both healthy and unhealthy—their roles, and the effect their roles as senior military officers' wives play in the psychological impact of stress. In-depth interviews conducted with the participants provided a voice for senior officers' wives who tirelessly, but often silently, perform numerous roles and responsibilities associated with their husbands' positions in the military organization. This study identified the coping strategies employed by these women to manage stress and the level of success for each. Implications for interventions and prevention relevant to the stress experienced by senior officers' wives are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gray, Malcolm
Commitee: Chapman, David, Gamber, Victoria
School: Capella University
Department: School of Psychology
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Psychotherapy, Families & family life, Personal relationships, Sociology, Armed forces
Keywords: Coping, Military wives, Officers' wives, Phenomenological, Senior officers' wives, Stress, Wives
Publication Number: 3324820
ISBN: 978-0-549-77830-1
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