Association of satisfaction in social relationships with suicide risk, PTSD score, and health rating of female spouses and partners of veterans
The study sought to learn about the experiences of female spouses and partners of military veterans due to the limited knowledge concerning the needs of this population (Keeling et al., 2020). The study examined the association between satisfaction in social relationships and suicide risk, PTSD score, and self-reported health rating through the lens of the Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST). Of a secondary data set consisting of 277 female spouses and partners of military veterans, 262 were included after removing participants with missing data. Through quantitative methodology, a multivariate multiple linear regression using StataSE 15 (64-bit) was utilized to evaluate the relationships. Results indicated statistically significant associations between the independent variable, satisfaction in social relationships, and the three dependent variables, PTSD score, suicide risk, and health rating. Overall, participants who reported higher satisfaction in social relationships, on average, reported less severe PTSD scores, decreased suicide risk, and more favorable health ratings. The independent variable of social relationships and control variables of age, household income, current employment, and level of educational attainment explained 18% of the variance in PTSD score, 10% of the variance in suicide risk, and 12% of the variance in health rating. The above findings highlight the importance social relationships play in the wellbeing of this population. This study supports the establishment of social service programs geared towards fostering social relationships and community integration needs and challenges. Additionally, this study recommends counselors, family therapists, and other clinicians consider environment, relationships, and community in the process of clinical intervention implementation and treatment plan development. Overall, this study contributes towards the goal of providing evidence of the need for tailored government funded programs and benefits for spouses and partners of veterans after military service.