The Implications of Attachment Theory for Military Wives: Effects During a Post-Deployment Period

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The Professional Counselor

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Past research has indicated the negative and positive impacts of deployment on military wives. Furthermore, research has indicated the need to further understand the different deployment stages, specifically the post-deployment period. The authors examined Bowlby’s and Ainsworth’s attachment theories, specifically separation anxiety occurrence as experienced by stay-behind wives during their husbands’ post-deployment period. Purposive/volunteer sampling was used to survey 57 military wives currently experiencing the post-deployment period. A linear regression analysis produced a significant positive relationship between duration of deployment and the wife’s psychological distress during the post-deployment period. As deployments increased in duration, specifically to longer than 6 months, the levels of psychological distress significantly increased. Implications for counselors and researchers are addressed.