Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Navy Wife Needs Our Support to Conduct Research on us Navy Wives!

Some of you may have recently gotten a letter or a phone call about a large corporation doing a survey on military members. This is happening across the nation and across all branches, but it’s not the only survey going around right now. There’s another survey specifically circulating Naval Air Station Lemoore for Navy Wives.

photo credit: familymwr via photopin cc
When I was asked to participate, I emailed the surveyor and asked if I could interview her to see what this was all about, and she was more than happy to speak with me. Hope you guys don’t mind, I’ve written this journalism style - don't worry I used to be a reporter, so I know what I'm doing. =)

Doctoral Candidate and fellow Navy Wife Michelle Rose said this survey is all about Navy Wives.

“No one does research on us,” Rose said. “There is no research out there. Our detachment cycle is nothing like the Army. It’s nothing like the Guards. It’s nothing like the Marines. Their work-ups are not like ours. Our [Sailors’] comings and goings are a lot more frequent and a lot longer than other branches of the military. No one does it like us. No one goes through what we go through.”

Rose has a masters in psychology and a second masters in family and marriage counseling. She is in the process of earning her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Alliant International University in Fresno. For her doctoral dissertation, she is conducting research on Navy Wives to see how we cope psychologically, what kind of support we have, and the effects of being stationed in a rural area.
"They don't know what we need. They don’t  understand ... Unless you live it, you don’t get it."
“Psychologically speaking, the comings and goings are not easy to adjust to,” Rose said. “… It’s hard to sustain. It’s hard on our emotions … We are really resilient. We really pick up the pieces.”

Rose said because there is no research out there, the mental health community does not know how to properly treat Navy Wives. Rose said mental health professionals are not familiar with the psychological process Navy Wives go through and are even shocked by her stories of being a Navy Wife.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Vonfriesen, 
electrician's mate with his wife Pamela Vonfriesen before departing on
the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Navy Visual News Service 
Photo by Seaman David Brandenburg photo credit: DVIDSHUB via photopin cc

“[With] mental health providers, there’s a lot of focus on the guys coming back. There’s a lot of focus on the children,” Rose said. “I would love to see some money funneled into support for wives. Mental specialists don’t know how to treat Navy Wives. They don’t know what we need. They don’t understand ... Unless you live it, you don’t get it.”

Rose said when she finishes her dissertation, she plans to share it with other members of the mental health community by publishing either an academic paper or her entire dissertation.

However in order for her to complete her research, Rose needs more participants. Because of the confidentiality factor, Rose cannot spread the word via the most common form of communication – Facebook. She has to go through traditional means such as email and word of mouth to get participants. She needs 150 people to take the survey by March and needs 70 more to complete her work. Nevertheless, the more participants, the better the research.
"No one does it like us. No one goes through what we go through ... "
“The recruitment part of it is really difficult,” Rose said. “I have to be sensitive. I don’t want to force this on anybody.”

The survey takes about 10 to 15 minutes to fill out online and is completely anonymous and OPSEC safe. You can also refuse to answer any question although Rose said it’s better to answer everything because everything on the survey is important for her research.

She created the survey by using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and the Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey both of which have been used and proven accurate in thousands of research case studies.

“The reliability and validity of both tests are [very] high,” Rose said.

Rose said the questions ask about how you have felt within the past month. Blogger Note: When I took the survey, it was during the holidays and I knew my answers wouldn’t be the same otherwise, so I asked Rose how unique context affects the results. She explained it’s difficult for people to remember how they felt longer than a month prior and even though everyone will be experiencing something unique, it will all even out through statistical analysis.

121218-N-DC018-246 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 18, 2012)
Lt. Taylor Rives, (VFA) 103,
is reunited with his wife during a homecoming.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication
Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos/Released)

"No one does reserach on us. There is no research out there ... I would love to see some money funneled into support for wives."

In addition to publication, Rose will write a summary of results for the participants of the survey to read and send it out through the same channels she sent out requests to conduct the survey. This summary will also be available here on The Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives blog. Subscribe to get updates about new posts every Wednesday.

Click THE OFFICIAL SURVEY to take it. It takes hardly any time and is super easy. Rose said she loves getting questions and feedback so feel free to email her at mrose (at) If you are not in Lemoore, CA but are itnerested in helping Michelle Rose with her research, email her to sign up for future projects.

DISCUSSION: COME ON LADIES - COMMENT! What do you think about having research done for Navy Wives? What do you think about the level of difficulty we expereince during a deployment or during work-ups? Do you use the support we have available to us? Do you think we need different types of support? Do you think living in a rural area makes it more difficult? Comment below or Discuss on The Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives Facebook Page.

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About Stephanie Carroll
U&E Founder & Author
Buy Her Book A White Room!
Photo by Randy Enriquez
I dated and married my husband in 2004 when I was 19. I felt like an outsider for the first half of our marriage. He didn't understand what I needed to know about the Navy, and I didn't know what to ask.

After ten years of learning in the Navy, I founded Unhinged & Empowered. I wanted to spread the knowledge that I needed when I was new, to reveal what took years for me to learn.   
Cover Design by Jenny Q
In addition to being a Navy Wife, I am also a novelist. I write historical women's fiction.

My first novel A White Room debuted in 2013 and is about a woman forced to sacrifice her own ambitions of becoming a nurse to marry a man who can save her destitute family. He moves her to a strange, small town where she slowly succumbs to madness until she stumbles on an opportunity to nurse to the poor despite the fact that her husband prosecutes unlicensed practitioners.

Learn more at and connect with me @CarrollBooks on Twitter, Facebook, or on Pinterest!

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