The Impact of Deployment on Female Italian Partners of Peacekeepers: Stressful Experiences and Coping Strategies

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Abstract

Recent international studies have confirmed that peacekeeping deployment of a parent exacts a toll on partner and family, but little is known about how deployment-related stress impacts on Italian military families. This study described a qualitative research design that focused on the impact of deployment on a group of wives and cohabiting of Italian peacekeepers. Using semistructured interviews, data were collected from 20 women. The findings were grouped into 2 main themes, namely stressful experiences and coping strategies. The results showed that the women indicated the stage of deployment as a stressful experience aggravated by increased responsibility for childcare and family administration, lack of support and communication. Women reported using emotional-focused coping strategies more frequently than problem-focused coping strategies.

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