Navigation Links
Study offers insight for returning troops and their relationships

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Troops overseas often want nothing more than to get back home to loved ones but the reunion period often can be more emotionally taxing than the deployment.

Returning service members are at a greater risk of both depressive symptoms and relationship distress, and research shows the two often go together, says University of Illinois researcher Leanne Knobloch (pronounced kuh-NO-block). That's not a good thing, since someone suffering from depressive symptoms "really needs the support of their romantic partner."

In a study published in August in the Journal of Family Psychology, in a special issue on military families, Knobloch, a professor of communication, and co-author Jennifer Theiss, a professor of communication at Rutgers University, offer some advice for returning service members: Recognize the uncertainties you might have about the relationship and address them.

And anticipate sources of interference from your spouse or partner in everyday life and routines, and attempt to resolve them.

Those were two issues that showed up in their study as "mediators" linking depressive symptoms and relationship distress, Knobloch said.

"These may be pathways through which people's depressive symptoms make them dissatisfied or unhappy with their relationships."

They may help explain why depressive symptoms and relationship distress are connected, she said, "and the why is important because it suggests how to attack the problem, how to break the link."

Knobloch emphasized that having questions or uncertainty about a relationship is not unusual for those with depressive symptoms.

"People with depressive symptoms have a tendency to question everything in their lives," she said.

Feelings of interference from a partner are also not unusual, she said, given that each person has grown accustomed to doing things on their own during the deployment.

The study's conclusions fit with a model of relational turbulence that Knobloch and others have created to understand transitions in relationships. The study also is one of several in a line of research Knobloch and Theiss have conducted with military couples and their families, with other papers in press or under review.

The study was based on a one-time online survey of 220 service members 185 men and 35 women from 27 states who had been home less than six months from their last deployments. Of the total, 64 percent were in the National Guard and 28 percent in the Army, with the Air Force, Marines and Navy each representing 3 percent or less. Fifty-seven percent had completed multiple deployments. Participants were solicited through fliers circulated at reintegration workshops, through online forums, and contacts with military chaplains, family readiness officers and other military personnel.

The authors found that distress in the relationship was no more or less likely for couples who had been through multiple deployments versus those who had been through just one.

"Military couples often say that every deployment is different," Knobloch said.

They did find, however, that distress was more likely among those in the latter part of their six months after return, which fits with research by others.

"Our findings are important because returning service members and their partners sometime think that the transition home is going to be a honeymoon period where everything is just romance and roses," Knobloch said. "They can be disillusioned if they run into obstacles."

They might be better prepared for the potential upheaval, however, "if they recognize that it's a normal part of the process, that many couples go through it and it doesn't mean your relationship is not good," she said.

"Depression is a really hard thing, and if people can separate their relationship problems from the depression itself, then they're a step ahead," Knobloch said.

Contact: Craig Chamberlain
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related medicine news :

1. Mayo Clinic finds social media valuable tool to recruit study participants for rare diseases
2. Bacterial Strain Behind Black Death Plague Is Likely Extinct: Study
3. What You Eat Affects Viruses Living in the Gut: Study
4. Women Married Before Age 18 at Higher Risk of Mental Woes: Study
5. Patients underlying health linked to worse outcomes for melanoma, U-M study finds
6. Study shows balloon pump use prior to angioplasty does not reduce heart muscle damage
7. Some Older Americans Overwhelmed by Medicare Options, Study Says
8. Troubled Teens Spotted in Routine School Screenings: Study
9. Study examines how couples collaborative dialogue may assist in a spouses memory
10. Service Members Twice as Likely to Have Affairs: Study
11. Single parents and gay couples face rental housing discrimination: UBC study
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The Foundation for Breast and ... prevention—is joining forces with the award-winning creator and writer of Downton Abbey Julian ... 2015 at the Union League of Philadelphia. , The benefit, titled “An ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... California-based i2i Systems, a pioneer defining ... Michigan-based Family Health Center (FHC) has selected i2iTracks as their population health management ... the largest Affordable Care Act grant for Federally Qualified Health Centers in the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an interview with Andy Mitchell of Peconic ... on Long Island’s east end. During the broadcast, entitled “Eyes: the Window to the ... glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit with his grandmother to her physician put ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery ... practices in Florida, is proud to announce that Dr. Joshua Kreithen, one of ... Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. , Ethicon is a global medical device ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... that their Vasont Universal Integrator (VUI) extension unites with Syncro Soft’s latest software ... content as a continuous process with the latest release of oXygen® XML editor ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015   Nuance Communications, Inc. ... National Decision Support Company (NDSC) today jointly announced ... collaboration capabilities that utilize the American College of Radiology,s ... provider organizations to comply with current and emerging ... --> By combining clinical decision support, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: ... develop an educational partnership with Apollo Hospitals Group, the largest hospital ... that will help train radiation technologists in the country. The MoU ... of Apollo Knowledge, and Ashok Kakkar , Varian,s ... India , Varian intends to deploy ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015   VolitionRx Limited (NYSE ... diagnostic tests for a broad range of cancer types and ... LD Micro Conference, which will be held December 1 - 3 ... from VolitionRx will be David Kratochvil , Chief Financial ... of Investor Relations. ® blood-based tests for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: