Date of Conferral
Combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition researchers have cited as a major cause of marital discord and divorce for veterans with PTSD. This study examined the psychological construct of locus of control among the wives of veterans diagnosed with combat-related PTSD and whether or not it was a predictor of marital satisfaction within this context. An extensive search of the current literature revealed no previous studies that had investigated this relationship. Utilizing the family systems theory to address this gap, this study sought to compare reported marital satisfaction in wives with an internal locus of control to those with an external locus of control. Participants for this study were 111 wives of veterans with combat-related PTSD, each of whom completed a demographic questionnaire, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Survey, and the Duttweiler Internal Control Index. A multiple linear regression was conducted to determine if age, number of years married, number of children, level of education, household income, and internal locus of control were predictors of marital satisfaction reported by wives of veterans with combat-related PTSD. The results indicated that an internal locus of control accounted for a significant degree of the variance in marital satisfaction while the demographic variables were not significant predictors. This study contributes to social change by providing an empirical insight into the relationship between locus of control and marital satisfaction in wives of veterans with PTSD. The results of this study could help improve the quality of life of veterans with PTSD by enhancing awareness of locus of control to practitioners while developing a therapeutic treatment plan that will fit the veteran's locus of control orientation.