Type of Document Thesis Author Alrutz, Anna Stowe Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-11132006-182619 Title The Role of Communication, Prior Experience and Beliefs as Factors Influencing Combat Stress Recommendations from Military Spouses Degree Master of Arts Department Communication, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Gary Heald Committee Chair Charles Figley Committee Member Vicki Eveland Committee Member Keywords
- Military Spouse
- Theory of Planned Behavior
- Combat Stress
Date of Defense 2006-11-13 Availability unrestricted AbstractEncouraging help-seeking behavior for Combat Operational Stress Reaction (COSR) among military service members is an important factor in maintaining military readiness and military family quality of life. This research explores the role that military spouses play in encouraging help-seeking behavior among service members using a hybrid model that merged the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) with elements of Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) to understand spousesí behavior intention. Six predictor variables were explored during focus group meetings and ultimately incorporated into questions in an online survey completed by 306 military spouses of service members from all branches of service. The six predictor variables were analyzed using multiple regression and simple regression to determine their significance in predicting spouse behavior intention for service members to seek help at military and nonmilitary treatment facilities.
The research focused on five hypotheses and seven research questions. The hypotheses focused on information sources and usefulness about COSR, the amount of direct experience with COSR, the degree of favorable outcomes of COSR medical treatment, the perceived stigma associated with combat stress, the perceived vulnerabilities which included risk and severity, normative beliefs about help-seeking and the perceived military spouse efficacy to encourage help-seeking behavior at both military and nonmilitary treatment faculties. The research questions provided a range of generalized information about the variables.
Statistical analyses indicated that spouses who report that they have more military sources that provide useful information, about combat stress, are also more likely to (1) report more favorable beliefs about military care outcomes, (2) recognize the risks and severity of combat stress, and (3) feel that they are capable of effectively making recommendations that service members seek care at a military facility. Spouses with more direct experience with combat stress also are more likely to report favorable beliefs about outcomes resulting from military health care. Spouses who have more favorable outcome beliefs, higher perceptions of risk and severity (vulnerability), plus greater general and personal efficacy are more likely to encourage their service members to seek help at a military care facility.
A positive relationship was found between useful nonmilitary information sources about combat stress and behavioral intentions to recommend care at a nonmilitary care facility. In addition, spouses who have more useful nonmilitary information report higher levels of perceived stigma associated with combat stress. Direct behavioral nonmilitary care experiences are positively related to beliefs about favorable outcomes resulting from care at nonmilitary facilities. Three variables were found to be predictors of behavior intentions. The spouses who have (1) favorable outcome beliefs, (2) who experience normative expectations and are motivated to comply with these norms, and (3) who feel greater efficacy are more likely to encourage service members to seek help at a nonmilitary care facility.
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