Meaningfulness of service and marital satisfaction in Army couples.

Abstract

The vast numbers of military service members who have been deployed since 2001 highlights the need to better understand relationships of military couples. A unique consideration in military couples is the concept of meaningfulness of service, or the value service members and their partners place on military service in spite of the sacrifices it requires. In a sample of 606 Army couples, the authors used path analysis to examine how male service members' and female spouses' perceived meaningfulness of service added to the prediction of marital satisfaction in both members of the couple, when accounting for service members' PTSD symptoms. Spouses' perceived meaningfulness of service was linked with higher marital satisfaction in spouses, regardless of service member's perceived meaningfulness of service. Service members' perceived meaningfulness of service was also associated with increased marital satisfaction in service members, but only when their spouses also perceived higher meaningfulness. There were no significant interactions between service members' PTSD and either partner's perceived meaningfulness. Implications for enhanced attention to spousal perceptions of meaningfulness of service are discussed.

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