School of Psychology & Counseling

Military Relationship Study Published by SPC Doctoral Candidate

February 23, 2009

Kelly McLeland, doctoral student in the Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling, recently published an article in Psychological Reports titled "Marital satisfaction before and after deployments associated with the global war on terror" (McLeland, K.C., Sutton, G.W., & Schumm, W.R.).

The purpose of the study was to assess relationship satisfaction among military personnel. Marital satisfaction scores were compared among civilians, never-deployed military groups and deployed military groups. Not surprisingly, the data indicated that predeployment and postdeployment situations are stressful for military members and may be associated with lower marital satisfaction. However, the results suggest the need for additional support for military families during pre-and post deployment situations.

"I became interested in this topic during my undergraduate studies at Evangel University," McLeland said. Conducted under the supervision of Evangel professor Dr. Gregory W. Sutton, her undergraduate study, "Military service, marital status and men's relationship satisfaction" (McLeland, K.C., & Sutton, G.W., 3, 177-182) was published in 2005, in Individual Differences Research journal. Dr. Walter Schumm of Kansas State University was first contacted at this time for permission to use his measure for the research, the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale.

Schumm then contacted Sutton in 2007, proposing a collaborative relationship on a research project that combined the results of this study with research he had done. The recently published article is the result of this effort. Sutton and McLeland have worked together on two published articles on other topics. McLeland received her B.S. in Psychology in 2004, and her M.S. in Clinical Psychology in 2006, from Evangel University. She is currently a candidate for the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Regent, with an expected graduation date of 2010.

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