Interpersonal conflict and referrals to counseling among married soldiers following return from deployment
Gibbs, D., Clinton-Sherrod, A., & Johnson, R. (2012). Interpersonal conflict and referrals to counseling among married soldiers following return from deployment. Military Medicine, 177(10), 1178-1183.
Deployment represents a significant potential strain on military families. The impact of postdeployment stresses may be increased if family coping resources are diminished by returning service members' physical injuries, mental health issues, or substance abuse. This article examines the health and mental health correlates of self-reported concerns regarding interpersonal conflict among married soldiers following return from deployment and the likelihood that soldiers acknowledging such concerns are referred to counseling services. Among 20,166 married Army soldiers completing Post-Deployment Health Reassessments, 18% reported having experienced serious interpersonal conflict with their spouse, family members, close friends, or coworkers. Results indicate that interpersonal conflict was more common among those who reported health problems, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol abuse. Among soldiers reporting interpersonal conflict and not already receiving services, 11% were referred to service. Findings support the need to communicate with soldiers and their spouses about the availability of services following return from deployment and to continue efforts to reduce stigma associated with seeking treatment