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The Reintegration of Military Families Following Long Term Separation

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Doctoral thesis

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The requirements of an effective and modern military force frequently result in military personnel being separated from their families for extended periods of time. Todays specialized work force and dual income family structures also demand family separations. Such separations change family dynamics and functions. Although stressed, most families eventually adjust, only to face even more challenges once the family reunites. Experiencing such new stressors can create negative effects for the family in their long term functioning and integration. In turn, such difficulties present obstacles to corporate and military retention, readiness, and performance rates. Set within the framework of Hamilton McCubbins Double ABCX Family Stress Theory, this study replicated earlier findings that stressors, resources and family appraisal interacted to determine the family outcome of reintegration. These findings were based on the analysis of 85 written surveys and six in-depth interviews. Instruments of measurement included the Family Satisfaction Scale which assessed family functioning and the dependent variable reintegration the Family Changes and Strains Scale which measured stressors and the Family Coping Scale and a resources scale which measured support. Using correlation co-efficient and regression analysis, stressors were found to be the most significant factor determining the outcomes that families experience. Appraisals, the beliefs that families hold regarding military lifestyle and separations, also were found to be important to family outcomes and improved retention in the military. Data from interviews further explained this phenomenon and confirmed the results of the quantitative data.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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