Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth

Committee Member 1

Cleveland Shields

Committee Member 2

Melissa Franks


Research indicated that is need to assess the relationships of female service members who were found to have higher prevalence of divorce than their military and civilian counterparts. The aim of this study was to understand better civilian husbands' experiences of challenges and benefits from their active duty spouses' service and experiences of deployment, relocation, and training sessions. Further, the study assessed the influence of wives' service on couples' communication, conflict, and husbands' perceptions of marital satisfaction. This mixed-method study entailed conducting telephone interviews with 20 civilian husbands across the United States. Interviews were recorded, and transcribed verbatim.

The transcriptions were analyzed using the General Inductive Method. Findings from the study indicate that husbands experience challenges related to military community membership, challenges from wives' military service such as wives' work family conflict, and personal challenges such as internal conflict with performing non-traditional gender roles. On the contrary, husbands benefited from resources and financial benefits gained from wives' service, and perceived feelings of pride and mission from wives' service. Overall, husbands described experiences of positive communication, little conflict, and being fairly satisfied in their marriages. Husband' discussions highlighted that wives' military service influenced their work and family lives. This study filled a gap in research by highlighting the influence of active duty female service members' military service on their spouses work and family lives. However, further research needs to be conducted to assess the long-term repercussions of husbands' experiences on challenges on their careers, potential earnings, and mental health.