Military Wives Whose Husbands are Deployed During Operation Iraqi Freedom
|Advisor(s):||Anna Franco, Nicolle Ionascu, Brenda Frechette|
|Degree:||Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology|
The focus of this study was to gain an understanding of six military wives experiences while their husbands were deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. There were three themes that were derived from the literature and they were explored with the six wives: communication, reintegration, and self-esteem.
The analysis of the research was qualitative, utilizing a phenomenological approach, consisting of structured interviews for the participants whose husbands were deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. To analyze the data Giorgio’s (1985) phenomenological approach was used. The structured interviews were used to explore and gain an understanding of how the three themes impacted the wives while their husbands were deployed.
The results showed that all three themes impacted the wives while their husbands were deployed. Self-esteem was not necessarily impacted by role reversal, but it was an integral part of the deployment process and how the wives felt about themselves. All of the participants experienced some type of difficulty communicating with their spouse during the time of war. The obscurity continued after the deployment and many had to learn how to initiate a different type of communication skill. The second theme dealing with reintegration proved to also be difficult on all of the wives. They all expressed their happiness with the husband being home safe, but struggled with the role reversal. The wives also struggled with giving up some of their independence. The third theme proved that for many of the wives body image was very important. Also important for them was their jobs and the role that they played as mother. This research is important to the field of psychology, those within the military culture, and those interested in knowing more about the military community. This is vital in helping others understand the plight of the wife during the time when her husband is deployed. It will also assist in providing and reevaluating the way wives are treated and the programs that are offered to support them.
Dr. Johnson was born on the island of Jamaica and at the age of seven she migrated to Miami with her family. It was there that she started her work with those who were underserved and mentally ill. After completing her Bachelor's from Florida International University, she moved to California. She became an Americorp member for the I Have a Dream Foundation in West Oakland. During that time she recognized the suffering of those that were low income and the disconnection between mental health and the families within the community. She then made a commitment to pursue her career in counseling and make a pact to work with those that were low income and mentally ill. During her time in graduate school Dr. Johnson worked for a local non profit providing therapy in a school based day treatment program. At this school it was insurmountable the disparities of the children and their lack of adequate treatment for their mental illnesses and how it was impacting them academically. Dr. Johnson is currently a clinician working within county mental health. She continues to strive to provide service for low income minority children and families. She writes and provides groups for this population within the Bay Area.