Thursday, January 24, 2013

We're a GO!

My meeting with Leigh on Wednesday was a great success---we're a go!!  Here's what I'd come up with the week before:

The 2010 MFLP data is worth using for four reasons:
  1. it's from 2010 (whereas most recently published studies on military couples are analyzing data from 2003-2006 and deployments are different now than even 5 years ago),
  2. it's a large sample of spouses (unless the study is of medical record data, where the Ns are in the hundreds of thousands, sample sizes are generally between 100 and 1,000), 
  3. its questions cover a broad spectrum of issues that face military families and this breadth will address a gap in the literature that while we are gaining understanding about specific associations, we still know very little about the "big picture" of risk and resilience in the face of multiple deployments, 
  4. and most importantly, I HAVE THE DATA!

Leigh loved it :) I had typed and then cut into movable pieces my different "clusters" of variables, like demographic information, current reunification experiences, military life characteristics, coping and resources...and we moved them around on her desk as we talked about how they might be combined into an analysis model.  It was a quick meeting, only about 30 minutes, but I walked into it and out of it feeling confident and knowledgeable and on the right track.  It was SO great to have those feelings confirmed and to know that we're moving forward on the project with the data that I already have.

Our next meeting will be late next week after she's had some more time to process my new direction.  In the meantime, I'm going to comb back through my literature and reorganize it into the new conceptual variable "clusters" so that when the time comes for writing (soon! soon!), I'll be ready.

So. When people ask me now what I'm writing my dissertation on, I have an answer.  I'm going to be analyzing data from female spouses of active duty service members who have recently returned home from a deployment to investigate their levels of risk for negative outcomes (like depression and low marital satisfaction) and to identify what military and social resources (like counseling and family coping style) contribute to their resilience.

Alex and I are off to a concert this weekend (Tegan and Sara!! check out their new album here it's amazing!) then Sunday I have a full day of clients. Work on the basement is moving along too, the concrete laundry room floor has been painted and the baseboards in the new guest room have a coat of trim paint. Things are definitely looking up :)


  1. That sounds like a really interesting topic. What are you getting your doctorate in, sociology?

    1. Thanks, Carrie-Anne! I'm getting my doctorate in Family Science, a field that studies the health and well-being of families.

  2. Wow - interesting research. I studied psychology at University and this would have been a great subject for that. Do post your findings! Best of luck Emily. X