Deployment Experiences of British Army Wives Before, During and After Deployment: Satisfaction with Military Life and Use of Support Networks
KING'S COLLEGE LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM) DEPT OF WAR STUDIES
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Introduction and Aims During deployments, Service wives have to adapt to being alone and taking sole responsibility for their families and house-holds whilst dealing with the additional stress about whether their loved ones will return. Stress buffering effects of support networks, whether within or outside the military community, are important factors in the general well being of military wives during deployments. This paper presents results on support networks British Army wives used during the deployment of their spouses to Iraq in 20045. Results are also presented from a parallel study of the opinions of the deployed servicemen on the well-being of their wives and families. Methods A largely qualitative methodology was used based on semi-structured face-to-face interviews conducted with 50 British Army wives and their spouses. Conclusions In the context of living in an Army garrison town, wives favour informal social networks of support to provide a buffer against the stressors of deployment and do not expect or choose the military as their first line of support. Army wives are much more tolerant of the pressures that the military place on them than the Soldiers who are less happy with the pressures they think that their career, and especially deployments, puts on their families.
- Military Forces and Organizations