Psychometric Evaluation of a Measure of Intimate Partner Communication During Deployment

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Abstract

Intimate partner communication has become a part of the daily routine of military couples during deployment. However, there is a scarcity of research examining the individual and relationship implications of communication during deployment, likely due in part to the lack of existing measures of deployment communication. The current study examined the psychometric characteristics of a newly developed, multidimensional tool for assessing the process and outcomes of deployment communication in a sample of 391 recently deployed male Army National Guard soldiers and their female intimate partners. The Deployment Communication Inventory (DCI) contains 6 Soldier and 6 partner scales that assess (a) frequency of communication, (b) nature of communication (Assurance/Support, Problem-Solving/Disclosure, and Conflict), and (c) perceived consequences of communication (Benefits and Costs). Scales demonstrated good internal consistency reliability and convergent validity with measures of relationship and family functioning and individual mental health. The DCI may serve as a useful assessment tool for examining the impact of deployment communication on military families.

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