Date of Award:

1-1-1988

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Elwin Nielsen

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate to what extent the level of coping skills, internal resources, social support, perception and pile-up of life events affect Air Force families ' adjustments after relocation. The major objectives were threefold: (a) to assess which of the husbands' and wives' strengths and resources contributed to the family's adjustment to the stress associated with permanent change of station moves, (b) to explore whether wives' levels of coping are critical to family adjustment and (c) to determine if the types and/or levels of coping used are significantly different at two points in time after the move. A secondary objective was an exploration through factor analyses of the construct validity for this population of four of the measures used: FACES, Quality of Ufe, Ways of Coping Checklist and Social Support Inventory.

Results showed that for the husbands and wives pile-up of life events had a significant inverse relationship to mean Quality of Ufewith Displacement/Denial, FACES and Perception also correlated for the wives. For both husbands and wives, the FACES discrepancy score was significantly correlated with the discrepancy Quality of Ufe score with pile-up and Reframing also correlated for the wives. Controlling for the influence of the moderator variables, pile-up of life events was significantly correlated with mean Quality of Life for the husbands while pile-up and Social Support were correlated for the wives. The wives had pile-up, Reframing, Discrepancy FACES and Self-focused Coping which showed a significant correlation with discrepancy Quality of Life.

Wives showed a greater use of several types of coping including Positive Focus, Social Support, Displacement/Denial and Reframing while the husbands showed a greater use of coworkers for social support and Problem-focused Coping. A higher usage of special groups for social support was the only difference found between the individuals who had moved at different points in time. In addition, the results provided further empirical support for the Double ABCX Family Stress Model. Suggestions were made for interventions to help to alleviate the stress of moving for the military family