School for Social Work
This study was undertaken to provide information about U.S. Foreign Service spouse reentry adjustment in the published social work literature. The purpose is to inform social workers and others working with spouses and repatriates regarding the reentry phenomenon and to inform the development of intervention strategies in working with repatriates and their families in other occupations requiring extended overseas stays. One hundred fifty-eight Foreign Service spouses who are members of the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW), a Foreign Service spouse organization, responded to a mixed method questionnaire covering a range of reentry issues. These issues included demographic characteristics and traits of the spouses' last overseas assignment and last reentry experience. There were three clusters of quantitative findings: primary were the family systems factors, with greater reentry adjustment difficulties for younger spouses with fewer and younger children; overseas adjustment factors, with more reentry difficulties for spouses who participated in fewer activities overseas; and reentry factors, with greater readjustment distress for spouses whose reentry experience was more difficult than anticipated, those with less job satisfaction, and who had been in the U.S. for a shorter period of time. Qualitative results found: the return to familiar surroundings makes subsequent reentries easier, and more reentry information before reentry and the availability of counseling to those at risk would be helpful.
Maybarduk, Sharon M., "An exploration of factors associated with reentry adjustment of U.S. foreign service spouses" (2008). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.