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Military Downsizing Effects on Marriage, Article Critique Example

Pages: 2

Words: 465

Article Critique

This study was quite unique because it presented social and personal considerations on marriage conflict as a result of military downsizing.  The research problem was identifying the degree to which military downsizing increased stress and conflict on soldiers which in turn produced a negative crossover or transmission effect on a spouse.  The hypotheses were clearly stated.  The first hypothesis is that the martial dissatisfaction as a result of military downsizing will cross over from one spouse to the other and vice versa.  Furthermore, financial hardship and negative life events will both increase the level of distress within each spouse.  Distress will increase social undermining from one spouse to another and finally, social undermining will increase the marital dissatisfaction of both spouses.  The researchers conducted a series of personal one-on-one interviews.  The sample was spouses and soldiers of the Russian army (or former soldiers) split within two separate waves of respondents.  The first wave was after the army had announced a series of cuts due to military downsizing.  The second wave was after 39% of the cuts had been executed in which many soldiers and spouses had either already been removed from service or were about to be.  The authors did not directly disclose how the sample was chosen except to state that 1,998 male soldiers were contacted, 1,798 of those soldiers responded and interviewed along with 1,609 wives.

The researchers assessed marital dissatisfaction using a 6-item scale that was drawn from the longer Dynamic Adjustment scale, which included response ranged from 1 to 5 for low to high agreement to statements concerning satisfaction with relationship.  Statistical analysis was used to examine both spouses’ responses to questions to determine frame of mind in relation to familial and spousal responses.  This study produced a model for effectively determining martial dissatisfaction of spouses in a relationship.  By using personal interviews, the researchers were able to gain an in-depth look into the reasons for marital dissatisfaction as well as view the clear physical stress and emotional stress that factors produced during the respondents’ answers.  Furthermore, by examining this type of change, the authors were able to understand how military downsizing has a negative component to families similar to that of an individual being laid off from work or being unemployed.  This type of psychological analysis is a key model that should be duplicated in other areas of the world to examine the similar impact that military downsizing has on the psyche of soldiers/former soldiers and their spouses.

Bibliography

Westman, M., & Etzion, D. (1995). Crossover of stress, strain and resources from one spouse to another. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 16, 169–181.

Westman, M., Hamilton, V. L., Vinokur, A. D., & Roziner, I. (2004). Crossover of marital dissatisfaction during military downsizing among russian army officers and their spouses. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(5), 769-79.

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