Research Repository

“I’m still fighting for the two of us”: How partners of UK veterans construct their experience of living with combat-related trauma

Doncaster, Emily (2015) “I’m still fighting for the two of us”: How partners of UK veterans construct their experience of living with combat-related trauma. Other thesis, University of Essex.

DClinPsy Thesis_Emily Doncaster_Oct 2015 Research Repository.pdf

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The majority of research in the area of veterans' mental health has been carried out in the United States or the Middle East, has employed a symptoms-based quantitative design, and has been largely focused on the experiences of male personnel. Additionally, most studies have concentrated their efforts on exploring the impact of deployment and trauma on the veteran themselves. This study therefore aimed to explore how partners of UK veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)/symptoms of trauma constructed the impact the condition has on them, the veteran, and their relationship, utilising a qualitative methodology. The study also explored partners’ views on the process whereby they themselves had been affected by trauma, and also their perceptions of the way in which UK society views combat-related PTSD/trauma. Participants were 15 female partners of UK military veterans recruited via the organisations Combat Stress and Ripple Pond. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews and was analysed using social constructionist thematic analysis. Five themes were constructed following analysis of the data: “Walking on eggshells”: Subduing own emotional and behavioural responses; My wounded solider or a man behaving badly?; “Being somebody’s wife, mother, nursemaid, champion”: Partners’ attempts at negotiating multiple roles; Heroes don’t do the dishes: How constructing veterans as ‘heroes’ impacts the maintenance of PTSD/trauma and family difficulties; and “The Army were his family”: Struggling with the transition to Civvy Street. This study highlighted the importance of considering the veteran as existing within a relational and cultural context, and the need to better support partners of veterans. Strengths and limitations of the study, in addition to further clinical implications of the findings, were identified.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Emily Doncaster
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 11:02
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2015 11:02

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