This doctoral thesis explores mental and physical health problems among female personnel and examines the interplay between these problems and factors such as work, family and relationships.
A mixed methods approach was used, integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches across several stages of the research. Quantitative data came from female participants (n=1185) who responded to a postal survey questionnaire as part of a cohort study of UK military personnel. This provided the sampling frame for the qualitative study, which included 41 in-depth interviews with purposefully selected participants. While no statistical impact of deployment or parenthood on health was found overall, the interviews identified a far broader array of stressors, protective factors, and outcomes not measureable from the survey data. In particular, the importance of interpersonal factors on well-being and career intentions among women was emphasised. Sources of stress from three main domains were explored: deployment, parenthood, and integration.
Woodhead, C. (2013). The mental health and well-being of women in the UK Armed Forces. Doctoral thesis, King's College London.