Publications
Research Publication 2
Title Publication Date/Location
Demographic variation in military life stress and perceived support among military spouses Military Medicine 2021 Jan; 186(1):214-221

Corry NH, Williams CS, Radakrishnan S, McMaster HS, Sparks AC, Briggs-King EC, Karon SS, Stander VA

Military spouses play a critical role in supporting service members and the family unit, and experience unique stressors as a result of military life. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Family Study, a nationwide survey of 9,872 married spouses of service members with 2–5 years of military service, we examined differences in experiences of military life stress and perceived support across multiple subgroups of military spouses to identify groups potentially at risk. Key outcomes included military-related stressors, perceived social support and support from the military, and coping; predictors included spouse sociodemographic, military population, and family characteristics. Certain spouses (>35 years, had a high school diploma or less, fulltime or not employed, had 2+ children, or married to service members in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps) were more likely to experience heightened military stress, less social support, and/or poorer coping skills. Findings may inform culturally relevant initiatives to enhance social support and connectedness among at-risk military spouses.

View full text

Associations between spouse and service member prescriptions for high-risk and long-term opioids: a dyadic study Addictive Behaviors Reports 2021 June; 14

Sparks AC, Radakrishnan S, Corry NH, McDonald D, Carlson K, Carballo CE, Stander, V.

This study explores the extent to which military spouses’ obtainment of opioids is associated with their service member partners’ obtainment of opioid prescriptions, in addition to other factors such as service member health, state prescribing patterns, and sociodemographic characteristics. Findings suggest that reducing the number of long-term and high-risk opioid prescriptions to service members may subsequently reduce the number of similar prescriptions obtained by their spouses. Reducing the number of service members and spouses at risk for adverse events may prove to be effective in stemming the opioid epidemic and improve the overall health and safety of military spouses and thus, the readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces.

View full text

Pre- and perinatal risk factors for child maltreatment in military families across the first two years of life. Child Maltreatment 2022 April; 1-12

Sullivan, K., Richardson, S., Ross, A., Cederbaum, J., Pflieger, J., Abramovitz, L., Bukowinski, A., & Stander, V.

Military families are exposed to a unique constellation of risk factors, which may impact maltreatment outcomes. The present study examined prospective relationships between demographic, health, birth-related, and military-specific risk factors identified prior to a child’s birth on their risk for maltreatment in the first two years of life.

View abstract

Influence of family factors on service members' decisions to leave the military. Family Relations 2022 August; 1-20

Woodall, K., Esquivel, A., Powell, T., Riviere, L., Amoroso, P., & Stander, V. A.

Service member retention is a crucial aspect in maintaining and advancing the U.S. military and its mission. To increase retention, it is important to understand why active duty personnel voluntarily leave while they are still highly qualified. For married service members, spouses likely influence the decision to stay or leave military service. The current study used data from the Millennium Cohort Family Study for 4,539 dyads comprising service members and their spouses to investigate family predictors of voluntary military separation.

View full text

Longitudinal patterns of military spousal alcohol consumption: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Family Study. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 2022 July; 83(4), 546-555

Sparks, A. C., Williams, C. S., Pflieger, J. C., Jacobson, I., Corry, N. H., Radakrishnan, S., & Stander, V. A.

Alcohol use in the military is prevalent and has short- and long-term health, safety, and career consequences. Although several studies have examined service members’ alcohol consumption, few have focused on alcohol use among military spouses. This study assessed factors at individual, interpersonal, and organizational levels to determine associations with risky alcohol use among military spouses.

View full text

Gender differences in marital and military predictors of service member career satisfaction. Family Relations 2022 May; 1-23

Street, T., Lewin, A., Woodall, K., Cruz-Cano, R., Thoma, M., & Stander, V. A.

U.S. servicewomen may face unique military experiences unlike those of servicemen, and stressors can affect their satisfaction with the military. Understanding factors influencing satisfaction among the increasing number of U.S. servicewomen in the U.S. military is important for retention. This study increases our understanding of the influence military and family stressors have on service members' satisfaction with the military. It also reveals gender differences in military satisfaction and recommends strategies to address the needs of diverse military families.

View full text

Perceived barriers to mental healthcare among spouses of military service members Psychological Services 2022; 19(2):396-405

Schvey NA, Burke DJ, Pearlman AT, Britt TW, Riggs DS, Carballo CE, Stander VA

The elucidation of barriers to mental healthcare among military spouses is critical to optimizing the health of the military family and ensuring military readiness. Utilizing data from the Millennium Cohort Family Study, the current study found that logistic factors, such as lack of time or cost of services (reported by 63%), and negative attitudes towards mental healthcare (reported by 52%) were the most frequently reported barriers to care. Other reported barriers included fear of negative consequences (reported by 35%) and internalized mental health stigma (reported by 32%). Spouses with prior or current military service themselves and individuals with probable psychiatric conditions were most likely to report barriers to mental healthcare. Prospective data are needed to elucidate the associations between perceived barriers to care and actual mental healthcare utilization.

View abstract

The Role of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Negative Affect in Predicting Substantiated Intimate Partner Violence Incidents Among Military Personnel Military Behavioral Health 9(4); 2021 Aug

Stander VA, Woodall KA, Richardson SM, Thomsen CJ, Milner JS, McCarroll JE, Riggs DS, Cozza SJ, for the Millennium Cohort Research Team.

Increasing rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military populations may indicate heightened risk for aggression, including aggression among domestic partners. Using longitudinal data from the Millennium Cohort Study, we evaluated the association of PTSD symptom clusters and comorbid conditions as predictors of incidents of met criteria incidents of domestic abuse (physical and psychological) from DoD Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Central Registry data. Among 54,667 active-duty personnel who responded to the 2011 survey, FAP records documented 501 participants (1%) with incidents of emotional or physical met criteria incidents of aggression in the data collection period. Results showed that certain aspects of PTSD and behavioral health problems predicted incidents. In particular, general PTSD symptoms (e.g., anger/irritability, sleep disruption) and comorbid alcohol dependence were stronger predictors than trauma-specific PTSD symptomology (e.g., reexperiencing, hypervigilance). These results indicate that clinicians should consider the interpersonal consequences of PTSD and related behavioral problems.

View abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder symptom clusters in service members predict new-onset depression among military spouses Journal of Traumatic Stress Epub ahead of print

Walter KH, LeardMann CA, Carballo CE, McMaster HM, Donoho CJ, Stander VA

Among spouses of service members with probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 14% met criteria for new-onset depression over a 3-year period. The service member’s PTSD symptom cluster of effortful avoidance was associated with an increased risk of new-onset depression in spouses, underscoring the impact of service member psychological symptoms on the spouse.

View full text

Risk and Protective Factors Predictive of Marital Instability in U.S. Military Couples Journal of Family Psychology ePub; 2021 Dec

Pflieger JC, Richardson SM, Stander VA, Allen ES

The objective of this study was to predict marital instability from a range of risk and protective factors in a large, representative cohort of military couples participating in the Millennium Cohort Family Study. Factors analyzed include mental health, family communication, military experiences, and education level. Findings from this study can be used to target specific couples risk factors for marital instability and to tailor programs to at-risk subgroups.

View abstract

The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of non-U.S. Government sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. Although the Department of Defense may or may not use these sites as additional distribution channels for Department of Defense information, it does not exercise editorial control over all of the information that you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this website.

Publication badge scores are provided by Altmetric.