Publications
Research Publication 2
Title Publication Date/Location
Depression among Military Spouses: Demographic, Military, and Service Member Psychological Health Risk Factors Depression and Anxiety 2018 Aug; Epub ahead of print

Donoho CJ, LeardMann CA, O’Malley CA, Walter KH, Riviere LA, Curry JF, Adler AB

In this study, 4.9% of military spouses had a probable diagnosis of major depression disorder (MDD). Spouses married to enlisted service members or those with PTSD had increased risk for MDD, after adjustment for demographic and military factors. Less education, unemployment, and prior military service among spouses, as well as having more than three children, were also associated with increased risk for MDD. These findings imply that deployment alone may not negatively impact military spouses, but rather adverse mental health of the service member, especially PTSD, may increase the risk for MDD among military spouses.

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Mental health of children of deployed and non-deployed US military service members: The Millennium Cohort Family Study Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 2018 July; Epub ahead of print

Fairbank JA, Briggs EC, Lee RC, Corry NH, Pflieger JC, Gerrity ET, Amaya-Jackson LM, Stander VA, Murphy RA

Prior research has found that youth in military families were significantly more likely to report higher rates of major depression and use of illicit drugs in comparison to their non-military counterparts. The present study investigated the associations between service member deployment experiences and family demographic factors and children’s mental health and psychological functioning, utilizing data collected from 9,872 Service members/military spouses through both online and mail survey options. The results from the Family Study indicated that while most spouses did not report that their children had mental health, emotional, or behavioral difficulties regardless of parental deployment status, a significant minority of children whose parents had been combat deployed were more likely to have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and depression by a doctor or health professional in comparison to youth without a deployed parent. Children with a non-combat deployed service member parent were also more likely to have been assigned a diagnosis of depression in comparison to youth without a deployed parent.

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The Impact of Military and Nonmilitary Experiences on Marriage: Examining the Military Spouses' Perspective Journal of Traumatic Stress In press

Pflieger JC, LeardMann CA, McMaster HS, Donoho CJ, Riviere LA

This study examined the impact of military experiences and nonmilitary family stressors on the military spouse’s perception of marital quality. After adjusting for demographic, relationship, and military characteristics, results indicated that most military experiences did not have a direct association with low marital quality, with the exception of service member posttraumatic stress. Rather, nonmilitary experiences of the military spouse, including lack of social support, caregiver burden, work-family conflict, and financial strain, increased odds of low marital quality. These findings suggest that providing additional supports to address nonmilitary family stressors experienced by spouses may strengthen military marriages.
Prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in the United States military spouses: The Millennium Cohort Family Study Depression and Anxiety 2018 May; Epub ahead of print

Steenkamp MM, Corry NH, Qian M, Li M, McMaster HS, Fairbank JA, Stander VA, Hollahan L, Marmar CR

This cross-sectional study assesses the prevalence of eight mental health conditions in spouses of U.S. Service members with 2 to 5 years of service and the association between deployment status and spousal outcomes, as well as concordance in psychopathology between spouses and Service members. Over one-third of spouses met criteria for at least one of the assessed psychiatric conditions. Having a partner who deployed with combat resulted in higher prevalence of anxiety, insomnia and somatization. Rates of depression, anxiety and somatization were similar between spouses and Service members.

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Smoking and drinking behaviors of military spouses: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Family Study Addictive Behaviors 2017 Sep;77:121-130

Trone DW, Powell TM, Bauer LM, Seelig AD, Peterson AV, Littman AJ, Williams EC, Maynard CC, Bricker JB, Boyko EJ

This cross-sectional study assesses the associations between stressful military experiences and tobacco use and alcohol misuse among Service member spouses. Our findings suggest that contextual characteristics about the deployment experience, as well as the perceived stress of those experiences, may be more impactful than the simple fact of Service member deployment itself. These results suggest that considering the impact of deployment experiences on military spouses reveals important dimensions of military community adaptation and risk.

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An Experimental Comparison of Web-push vs. Paper-only Survey Procedures for Conducting an In-Depth Health Survey of Military Spouses BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 Apr;17:73

McMaster HS, LeardMann CA, Speigle S, Dillman DA

An experiment was conducted to compare two methods for surveying spouses married to U.S. Service members. Military spouses were assigned to either a web-push group (requesting online survey completion initially and then in later contacts offering a paper option) or to a paper-only group (requesting response by paper survey only). The web-push approach produced a significantly higher response rate and was less expensive than the paper-only approach, with no meaningful differences in spouse demographic, military, and health characteristics. Results suggest that a web-approach may be more effective with young military spouses because of their heavy reliance on the internet and that this may also hold true for the general population as they become more uniformly internet savvy.

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Assessing and adjusting for non-response in the Millennium Cohort Family Study BMC Medical Research Methodology 2017 Jan;17:16

Corry NH, Williams CS, Battaglia M, McMaster HS, Stander VA

This paper examines factors contributing to second stage survey non-response during the baseline data collection for the Millennium Cohort Family Study, a large longitudinal study of US service members and their spouses from all branches of the military. Due to its design features, the Family Study offers a unique opportunity to thoroughly examine and adjust for non-response bias among military spouses by analysing extensive data collected from their service member partners on the Millennium Cohort survey, including sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics. This study contributes to the interpretation and use of the Family Study data by describing the sample and examining and addressing systematic non-response in the baseline sample and provides insights to inform future study designs and recruitment practices involving military spouses.

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The Millennium Cohort Family Study: A Prospective Evaluation of the Health and Well-Being of Military Service Members and Their Families International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 2014 Sep;23(3):320-30

Crum-Cianflone NF, Fairbank JA, Marmar CR, Schlenger W

The Millennium Cohort Family Study is the largest prospective, epidemiologic study of military families in US history, and includes dyads of service members and their spouses. This paper provides a comprehensive description of this landmark study including details of the research objectives, study methodology, survey instrument, ancillary data sets, and plans for dissemination of research findings. The Family Study offers a unique opportunity to define the challenges that military families experience and advance the understanding of protective factors that will benefit military families today and into the future.

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