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Identifying effective coping mechanisms for military spouses during deployment

17 April 2009


There are many adjustments couples must make during deployment. Previous research has shown that married service members tend to report more difficulty coping with deployment than single service members and that the non-deployed spouse is vulnerable to many psychological stressors and adjustment issues. How spouses cope . with the stressors of deployment can impact their experience of stress. This study evaluated the relationship between coping strategies and stress of military spouses during deployment. A correlational study with 45 participants was conducted. An instrument of coping strategies and perceived stress were administered online. Data was analyzed using a three-factor model of coping that assessed problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping, and avoidance-focused coping. Regression analyses revealed that spouses who utilized problem-focused coping mechanisms reported less stress (p = .01) and those that used avoidance-coping reported greater levels of stress (p < .01); however, emotion-focused coping was not significantly related to stress levels. These findings suggest that certain coping strategies are predictors of stress levels which should be taken into consideration when working with military spouses.


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