Counseling and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Date of Award

Fall 2023



Degree Level


LCSH subject

Attachment behavior; Military service, Voluntary; Families of military personnel; Military spouses; Man-woman relationships



Proquest Document ID



30691255 (Proquest ID)


St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Tex.)

Size or duration

70 pages

Document Type


First Advisor

Ratliff, Dan


Since 2002, changes in the frequency, duration, and nature of military campaigns overseas have piqued efforts to understand the effects of deployment on the mental health of DoD service members, especially married Army soldiers. However, few studies have examined the influence of attachment styles on the emotional health of combat veterans and the wartime impact they have also imparted to their spouses. Thus, in the context of military deployments, this study examines how secure/insecure attachment styles, posttraumatic stress (PTS), and depressive symptoms significantly influence married soldiers and their perceptions of marital satisfaction. In addition, this study also examines pre-existent, internalized, and interpretative variables, suggesting how soldiers understand their spouses from either a positive or negative perspective. From a data set supplied by the Texas A&M University-Central Texas (TAMUCT) Department of Counseling and Psychology, 1,347 married soldiers out of 4,089 participants from Ft. Riley, Kansas, responded to interviews and selfreporting surveys following a 12-month deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006. Deployed married soldiers who were legally separated from their spouses reported higher levels of posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms more frequently than their married counterparts, regardless of one’s insecure attachment style. These variables may prove statistically significant regarding how married and maritally estranged soldiers perceive marital satisfaction as impacted by secure/insecure attachment styles, PTS, and depressive symptoms.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.