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Courtney P.R. Glover is a 2015 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • James Fauth PhD, Committee Chair
  • Vince Pignatiello, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Elisabeth Parrott, PsyD, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Military women’s involvement and contributions to the Global War on Terror (GWOT) are unprecedented and, as such, servicewomen are returning home in numbers that far exceed prior conflicts (Street, Vogt, & Dutra, 2009). Addressing and supporting servicewomen’s postdeployment recovery needs—as similar or distinct from their male counterparts—requires a richer understanding of their lives. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology, this study addressed the paucity of in-depth qualitative research devoted to exploring the recovery experiences of servicewomen in the aftermath of combat deployment. Nine servicewomen with GWOT combat deployments were interviewed on this topic using a semi-structured protocol designed to elicit reflection on their military and combat backgrounds, postdeployment experiences, and pathways to recovery. Data analysis revealed two levels of thematic analysis that depicted the following categories of servicewomen’s experiences: significant war-time accomplishments and stressors, immediate readjustment challenges and long-term effects of combat deployment, internal pathways and external influences of recovery, multilayered meanings of recovery, and future hopes for women in the service. An integrated conceptual model joining Harvey’s (2007) ecological perspective of communities and Herman’s (1992) phase-oriented model of trauma recovery offered a framework for interpreting the results of the study. In this framework, the servicewomen’s internal processes and social contextual influences of gender and postdeployment life were seen as inextricably linked and relevant to their recoveries from war. The clinical implications of the study and considerations for future research are discussed in light of these findings and the conceptual model.

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ORCID Scholar ID # 0000-0002-6138-6109

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