Date of Conferral





Human Services


Gregory Hickman


The social problem of school dropout is a well-researched issue that impacts students, schools, and the nation. The research problem of this study was how U.S. Navy wives experience resiliency during school transitions of their child(ren) midyear to a new school. The theoretical framework utilized for this study was resilience theory, as described by Rutter. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to gain insight into how U.S. Navy wives experience resilience when transitioning their students to a new school once the school year has begun. Semi structured interviews were conducted over the phone with 9 current wives of active duty members of the U.S. Navy. These interviews were transcribed and coded, with themes emerging that expressed not only the challenges these women endured, but the instances of personal resilience each woman experienced. Challenges included struggles with the new school, paperwork issues, and the need to support the unique needs of each of their children. Resilience experiences included conducting research on the new school, focusing attention on their children over themselves, and utilizing available resources for support. Implications for positive social change include the potential to address concerns regarding the dissemination of information and using the study findings to develop training to facilitate more effective paperwork processes along with increased awareness of available support for military families. Such changes could reduce stress for military families and create a smoother transition for the schools and students.