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Title: A qualitative study exploring the impact of UK military deployment on female spouses and their children
Author: Farrell-Wright, Katy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 9564
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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Due to the current military climate, a large number of military service men and women often experience prolonged and repeated separations from their families due to overseas deployment. This has been shown to have potentially detrimental effects on the family system, spouse relationships and on the child. This study aimed to use qualitative methods to explore the individual experiences of UK mothers who had children living at home when their husbands deployed overseas. It aimed to examine their views on how they believed the deployment experience impacted on their children. This included reports on their experiences of welfare packages offered by the military and related support services. The study also aimed to highlight any personally developed examples of possible good practice. A single method design was used, utilising semi-structured interviews following a discovery spine interview technique. The conducted interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis based on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and drawing on aspects of Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis approach (2006). From the analysis it was shown that it was felt by mothers that deployment affected children both positively and negatively. For some there were negatively perceived changes in behaviour as well as significant feelings of loss both in terms of relationship and physical presence. There were also descriptions of increased negative emotional states and an ongoing experience of maladaptive life events concurrent with life within a military community. In positive terms, the experience of deployment was described as prompting beneficial behavioural changes as well as enabling them to develop more positive aspects to their character. Their increased thoughtfulness and ability to empathise was seen as a contributing factor to enhancing their relationships both with the deployed parent and with those who remained at home. This study highlights the need for increased attention to military children’s well-being in the UK and the under-researched impact of overseas parental deployment on their development and functioning. It also demonstrates the need for improvements to support services and welfare packages to families who currently feel unsupported at times of deployment. It suggests the importance of acknowledging and addressing the concerns of those individuals most closely affected by these procedures and the benefits that sharing their experience with others in similar positions can have.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; U Military Science (General)