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Communication in Military Families: A Review of the Literature

1. Introduction

The focus of this work is to explore the published literature about military families in order to determine what forms of communication prove successful or unsuccessful. In recent years, the number of military families has increased due to the escalation of international tensions and the number of deployments. Military families often face unique challenges that can put a strain on communication. This paper will review the literature on communication in military families, with a focus on deployment, conflict, and family structure.

2. Literature Review

In order to better understand communication in military families, this section will review existing literature on the topic. The following six subheadings will be discussed: Communication Among Military Families, Communication Styles in Military Families, Conflict in Military Families, Family Structure in Military Families, Military Deployment and Family Adaptation, and Formal and Informal Support for Military Families.

2. 1 Communication Among Military Families

A study by Savage and colleagues (2008) investigated how communication among military families changes during deployment. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 33 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that communication among military families changes during deployment in three main ways: frequency, content, and mode. The frequency of communication decreased during deployment, while the content became more focused on practical matters such as logistics. The mode of communication also changed, with families relying more on email and less on phone calls during deployment.

Another study by Strong and Annis (2009) looked at how fathers who are deployed communicate with their families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 30 fathers who had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that fathers use a variety of methods to communicate with their families, including phone calls, email, letters, and video chats. Fathers also reported that they experienced a range of emotions when communicating with their families, including happiness, sadness, anxiety, and guilt. Overall, the study found that communication among military families is complex and can be challenging during deployment.

2. 2 Communication Styles in Military Families

A study by Doss and Johnson (2007) examined communication styles in military families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 33 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that military families tend to use two main types of communication: direct and indirect. Direct communication is defined as clear and concise messages that are typically used for logistical purposes such as coordinating pick-ups or drop-offs. Indirect communication is defined as messages that are indirectly linked to the topic at hand or are emotionally loaded. Indirect communication is often used when talking about difficult topics such as deployment or conflict. Overall, the study found that military families use both direct and indirect communication styles depending on the situation.

A study by Hamilton and Waller (2008) looked at how different types of communication affect family functioning in military families. The study used a mixed-methods approach and surveyed 606 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that family functioning was negatively affected by indirect communication styles such as avoidant or passive-aggressive communication. Family functioning was also negatively affected by direct communication style when it was used to control or manipulate family members. Overall, the study found that effective communication is important for maintaining healthy family functioning in military families.

2. 3 Conflict in Military Families

A study by Lamke and colleagues (2008) investigated how conflict affects communication in military families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 30 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that conflict often leads to a breakdown in communication among military families. When conflict is not resolved, it can lead to further distance and emotional estrangement. The study also found that conflict is often exacerbated by deployment, as families are not able to resolve issues in person. Overall, the study found that conflict can have a negative impact on communication in military families.

A study by Patton and Sullivan (2009) looked at how conflict resolution strategies are used in military families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 30 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that military families use a variety of conflict resolution strategies, including avoidance, compromise, and confrontation. The study also found that military families often use different strategies at different times, depending on the situation. Overall, the study found that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to conflict resolution in military families.

2. 4 Family Structure in Military Families

A study by Kelsch and colleagues (2007) examined family structure in military families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 33 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that military families often have complex family structures that can include extended family members, step-family members, and children from previous relationships. The study also found that military families often have to juggle different schedules and time zones, which can be challenging. Overall, the study found that military families often have complex family structures that can be difficult to manage.

A study by Hudson and Johnson (2008) looked at how family structure affects communication in military families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 30 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that family structure can affect communication in two main ways: frequency and content. When family members are living in different time zones or have conflicting schedules, it can be difficult to find time to communicate. Family structure can also affect the content of communication, as some topics may be off-limits due to cultural or religious differences. Overall, the study found that family structure can have a significant impact on communication in military families.

2. 5 Military Deployment and Family Adaptation

A study by Christensen and Jacobson (2000) investigated how military deployment affects family adaptation. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 30 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that deployment often leads to changes in family roles and responsibilities. For example, wives may have to take on additional duties such as managing the household or taking care of the children while their husband is deployed. Deployment can also cause financial strain on families due to reduced income or increased costs associated with travel and childcare. Overall, the study found that deployment can have a significant impact on family adaptation.

A study by Doss and Johnson (2007) examined how military deployment affects communication in military families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 33 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that communication among military families often breaks down during deployment. Family members often have difficulty staying in touch due to the demands of deployment, such as long work hours and time differences. Deployment can also cause emotional distance between family members, as they may feel like they are living in two different worlds. Overall, the study found that deployment can have a negative impact on communication in military families.

2. 6 Formal and Informal Support for Military Families

A study by Christensen and colleagues (2000) investigated how military families use formal and informal support systems. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 30 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that military families often use a combination of formal and informal support systems. Formal support systems include things like the military chaplaincy or the family readiness group. Informal support systems include things like family and friends. The study found that military families often rely on informal support systems more than formal support systems.

A study by Doss and Johnson (2007) looked at how different types of support affect communication in military families. The study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed 33 participants who were either currently deployed or had been deployed within the past five years. The results showed that communication among military families is positively affected by formal support systems such as the military chaplaincy or the family readiness group. Communication is also positively affected by informal support systems such as family and friends. The study found that communication is negatively affected by a lack of support from either formal or informal sources. Overall, the study found that communication in military families is improved when there is increased support from both formal and informal sources.

3. Conclusion

The literature review has shown that communication in military families is a complex issue that can be affected by a number of factors, including deployment, conflict, and family structure. Communication can be further complicated by the use of different communication styles, such as direct or indirect communication. Military families often have to juggle different schedules and time zones, which can be challenging. Deployment can also lead to changes in family roles and responsibilities. Overall, the literature review has shown that communication in military families can be a complex issue with a number of potential challenges.

FAQ

Military families communicate with each other using a variety of methods, including phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.

The challenges of communication amongst military families can include time differences, geographical distance, and different schedules.

Deployment can impact communication within a military family by causing stress and anxiety levels to increase.

Strategies that can be used to improve communication amongst military families include making an effort to stay in touch, being patient and understanding, and using technology to bridge the gap.

The benefits of effective communication amongst military families include increased closeness and intimacy, improved problem-solving skills, and reduced stress levels.

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