Daniela Burnworth (Committee Member), Jeffrey Cigrang (Committee Chair), Wendy Dragon (Committee Member)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Prior research has determined that there is a trend within the military that military women experience more relationship disruption than military men and no conclusive findings as to why this may occur. There has been preliminary research indicating that military women experience more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)s than military men. Civilian research has shown definitive findings that there are long-term physical, emotional, and relational consequences of ACEs. This purpose of this study was to determine if an adverse family-of-origin environment characterized by traumatic events and a conflictual and less cohesive family-of-origin environment impacted current relationship functioning as a possible explanation for why military women experience more relationship disruption than military men. There were 220 active duty Air Force participants who identified as being in a committed romantic relationship lasting at least six months. The findings of this study concluded that women reported less cohesive and more conflictual family-of-originenvironments, experienced more ACEs and current relationship discord than military men. For women, there was a significant association between an adverse family-of-origin environment and perpetuating and being a victim of domestic violence. For men, there were significant associations between an adverse family-of-origin environment and relationship discord and problematic communication patterns. The findings of this study indicate that in this population the relationship functioning for men was more influenced by childhood adversity than for women. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to generalize these findings to the larger military population.
Department or Program
School of Professional Psychology
Year Degree Awarded
Copyright 2018, all rights reserved. My ETD will be available under the "Fair Use" terms of copyright law.