Staying Connected on the Home Front: Communication and Well-Being of Civilian Spouses During Deployment
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this study, I examined the associations of communication frequency via asynchronous (i.e., email/internet, postal mail) and synchronous communication methods (i.e., commercial telephone, DSN telephone, military exchange provided phone, military video phone, and video teleconference) as associated with marital quality and psychological well-being in civilian wives during their service member husbands’ deployment (N = 2,230). I used a relational dialectics perspective to suggest that the relationship between communication frequency and well-being would be curvilinear such that increased communication frequency is beneficial up to a point where it then becomes detrimental for well-being. I found this curvilinear relationship for synchronous communication methods and marital quality, but synchronous communication was not significantly associated with psychological well-being. For asynchronous communication, although I expected curvilinear effects I found a positive linear relationship for both marital quality and psychological well-being. Overall, this study suggests that increased communication is not always better for well-being of civilian spouses during deployment periods.
Degree ProgramHonors College