Validation of Navy Quality of Life Retention Models
Schwerin, M. J., Kline, T. L., Olmsted, M., & Wilcove, G. L. (2006, May). Validation of Navy Quality of Life Retention Models. Presented at American Association for Public Opinion Research 61st Annual Conference, Montréal, Canada.
Understanding factors affecting service member retention intention is essential for military decision makers to maintain levels of unit readiness. Wilcove, Schwerin, and Wolosin (2003) used data from the 1999 Navy Quality of Life (QOL) Survey to develop an exploratory model of work and non-work factors (e.g., shipboard life, relationship with children, residence, job, etc) affect retention plans. Results indicated that non-work factors had a direct relationship with retention plans and work factors had a direct relationship with organizational commitment which in turn was related to retention plans. Because of sampling irregularities in the 1999 QOL survey, the generalizability of the Wilcove, Schwerin, and Wolosin (2003) findings were limited. A subsequent validation study supported the work/non-work QOL model using Marine Corps QOL data (Hindelang, et al., 2004) but further validation studies using 2002 Navy QOL data are necessary to verify previous modeling results.
This study uses recent data from the 2002 Navy QOL Survey to validate the Wilcove, Schwerin, and Wolosin (2003) work/non-work life model. Data from the 1999 (N=8,165) and 2002 (N=5,114) Navy QOL Surveys were used for analysis. The Wilcove, Schwerin, and Wolosin (2003) work/non-work life model was tested with structural equation modeling using both 1999 and 2002 data sets to determine the consistency of the work/non-work life model with the 2002 Navy QOL Survey data. Two different model derivations were specified for single Sailors without children and married Sailors with children.
The results support the overall integrity of the model with slight changes to the model for both married Sailors with children and unmarried Sailors without children. Additional indicators for the organizational commitment included on the 2002 Navy QOL Survey were included in analyses and facilitated better model fit without changing the major construct relationships. Implications of findings on Navy personnel policy and future research will be discussed.