Exploring the Potentially Moral Injurious Experiences of Spouses and Partners of Military Service Members

Project Aim

The overall aim of the project is to explore the phenomenon of being a spouse, ex-spouse, partner, or ex-partner of a military service member with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This exploratory study will lay the groundwork for future projects aimed at addressing gaps in the field of knowledge related to moral injury in military family members. 

Research Objectives

This project proposes to accomplish multiple objectives:

  1. Determining if spouses, ex-spouses, partners, or ex-partners can acquire a moral injury by hearing the military stories of, or living with military service members with a PTSD diagnosis.
  2. Discovering the meaning of potentially morally injurious experiences for spouses, ex-spouses, partners, or ex-partners of military service members with a PTSD diagnosis.
  3. Describing the emotional, spiritual, financial, and medical support resources available, needed, or lacking for spouses, ex-spouses, partners, and ex-partners of military service members with a PTSD diagnosis.

Sample and Location

Study participants will include spouses, domestic partners, ex-spouses, and ex-domestic partners of U.S. service members with a military-related PTSD diagnosis.

In this project, we are using a community based participatory approach, which means we are looking to the community of practice and affected family members to help ensure our design meets the needs of the people we are trying to help. The community of practice includes spouses, ex-spouses, partners, and ex-partners of service members; non-profit organizations and government agencies that work with veterans and families; chaplains; and community health providers. We are not just looking to draw data from this community, but to invest in it and provide support for the long term.

To make a tax deductible donation to this important research, go to: https://bit.ly/ResearchDonation. Contact Dr. Daniel Roberts at 910-690-5964 or droberts@chaplainconsultants.com to find out other ways you can help.

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