Psychosocial Outcomes and Predictors of Distress Among Military Spouses

Quinn, Melanie (2017) Psychosocial Outcomes and Predictors of Distress Among Military Spouses. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


The current research aimed to further investigate the nature and extent of psychological distress among Australian Defence Force spouses, predictors of such distress, and the protective factors that moderate these negative effects, using internationally validated methods. This study used Lazarus and Folkman’s (1984) theory of stress and coping as an overarching theoretical framework. A sample of spouses (n = 184) completed an online self-report instrument that assessed psychological distress, depression, anxiety and stress, quality of sleep, barriers to care, and levels of perceived social support. Consistent with hypotheses, multiple regression analyses showed that military spouses reported significantly higher rates of distress and significantly poorer sleep quality than rates reported in the general Australian population. Higher rates of depression were predicted by greater discrepancy between emotional support received than was desired, greater discrepancy between practical support received than was desired, and current deployment status of the service partner. High rates of anxiety were predicted by the total number of barriers to care endorsed by spouses. Poorer sleep quality was predicted by more discrepancy between practical support received than was desired. Contrary to hypotheses, military risk factors of the duration of service for the ADF partner and amount of times deployed did not predict psychological distress. Similarly, barriers to care and self-stigma of help-seeking did not moderate the association between the discrepancy between emotional support received than was desired and psychological distress outcomes. Findings indicated that military spouses are a vulnerable population group with high rates of distress and sleep difficulties. Spouses are impacted by stressors such as the current deployment of the service partner and help-seeking efforts are impeded by deficient access to supports, and barriers to care. Clinical implications are discussed, including the need to design appropriate interventions to specifically address the psychological implications of the demands placed on military spouses. ------- Running title: Psychosocial outcomes of miltary spouses

Additional Information

Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Current > Division/Research > College of Health and Biomedicine
Keywords military, spouse, depression, anxiety, sleep quality, social support, barriers to care, Australia
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