Exploring the Impact of Deployment to Iraq on Relationships

December, 2012

This paper explores the impact of deployment on relationships among UK military personnel.


Little is known about the impact of deployment on romantic relationships among United Kingdom (U.K.) military personnel. This study analyzed a self-report questionnaire via logistic regression to explore associations between negative relationship change and pre-deployment, deployment, postdeployment, and health factors in 5,133 personnel who had deployed to Iraq between 2003 and 2006. There was no significant association between deployment to Iraq and negative or positive relationship change, after adjusting for sociodemographic factors. Risk factors for negative relationship change are identified. These include younger age, childlessness, increased length of deployment, problems adjusting on return from deployment, family violence, and problems resuming sexual relationships. Other risk factors included post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other common mental health problems, and alcohol misuse. It seems that deployment of UK military personnel to Iraq is not associated with relationship breakdown. However, a group of personnel at risk of suffering relationship breakdown who may benefit from intervention is identified.

Full Reference

Rowe, M., Murphy, D., Wessely, S. and Fear, N. T., 2012. Exploring the Impact of Deployment to Iraq on Relationships. Military Behavioral Health, 1(1).

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