Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type





Family Studies

First Advisor

Ronald J. Werner-Wilson


This study used mixed methods to examine the impact of service-members‟ knowledge and acknowledgement of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on relationship satisfaction of both the service-members and their spouses. Family stress theory was used to conceptualize the relationship between the occurrence of PTSD and relationship satisfaction. Forty individuals (i.e., 20 couples) completed questionnaires containing self-report measures of knowledge of PTSD, experience of PTSD symptoms, severity of PTSD symptoms, and relationship satisfaction. Participants also completed semi-structured interviews concerning PTSD symptoms, impact of PTSD symptoms on their relationship, and attitudes observed about PTSD. No significant links were found between knowledge, acknowledgement, and relationship satisfaction. Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews found that the couples‟ experiences of PTSD symptoms and the impact of PTSD on the couple relationships were consistent with the existing literature. Common attitudes regarding PTSD were reported by the couples, indicating a persistent negative attitude of PTSD.