Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Families of military personnel-Services for, Military social work, Military, Needs assessment, Mixed-methods, Unmarried military members, Deployment, Community resources, Military resources


This study was undertaken to explore the needs of family and close friends of unmarried military members. Unmarried military members depend on parents, relatives, siblings, significant others, and close friends for support during deployments, however there is limited research available on the needs of this population. The main research question was: What are the needs of family and close friends of unmarried military members during deployment? A questionnaire was used to recruit participants through Facebook military communities and online military community forums. There were 33 total participants who were asked to identify an unmarried military member with whom they had a relationship with and who had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. They were also asked to answer questions about community and military resources used, barriers to accessing resources, and what they would want improved, expanded or created in terms of resources. The findings of this research suggest four major findings: Participants are restricted in accessing military resources because they do not meet the military's definition of family, participants reported living too far away from resources to use them and that they often do not know how to find available resources, participants want more available resources that provide support and shared experiences, and lastly same-sex partners do not trust available resources and want a safe space to have their needs met. A gap exists in current research that does not look at the needs of the support system for unmarried military members.




iv, 77 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 57-60)