Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Steven R. Wilson

Committee Chair

Steven R. Wilson

Committee Member 1

Maria K. Venetis

Committee Member 2

Heather L. Servaty-Seib

Committee Member 3

Felicia D. Roberts


The current study examined how 179 romantic partners of U.S. service members perceived that they and their service members experienced the reintegration transition following a recent deployment. The relational turbulence model (Solomon & Knobloch, 2004) and the theoretical model of communal coping (TMCC; Afifi, Hutchinson, & Krouse, 2006) were used to frame this study. These frameworks had not been previously joined in this context. A revised communal coping measure was constructed to examine 17 hypotheses and 8 research questions because of challenges with the construct and external validity in prior measures. Participants completed an online questionnaire that assessed their perceptions of post-deployment stress, relational satisfaction, communal coping, uncertainty, and partner interference. Results indicated that communal coping completely mediated the association between partner interference and relational satisfaction. However, communal coping only partially mediated the association between uncertainty and relational satisfaction. The relational turbulence variables were also found to mediate the relationship between stress and relational satisfaction. Lastly, communal coping was found to moderate the relationship between stress and satisfaction. Practical contributions are noted in the form of a potential training program for military couples who are experiencing post deployment stress. Limitations and directions for future research are also noted.