Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Army Spouse Survey

Army Spouse Survey

Data to help the Army meet spouses' unique needs

Surveyed: more than 8,500 Army spouses on common problems and their solutions

The Most common of 96 issues facing Army spouses

  • 56% feel stressed | overwhelmed | tired
  • 50% their soldiers feel stressed | overwhelmed | tired
  • 39% experience loneliness | boredom
  • only 5% indicated that they experienced no problems in the past year

About the survey

Respondents were provided with a list of 96 issues Categorized into 9 problem domains

Percentage of respondents choosing each problem domain as a top two problem

  • 31% Work-life balance
  • 26% Military practices and culture
  • 24% Own well-being
  • 23% Relationship problems
  • 22% Health care system problems
  • 20% Soldier's well-being
  • 19% Financial or legal problems
  • 14% Household management
  • 13% Child well-being

A closer look at the top three most frequently reported Problem domains

The types of help respondents reported needing most

Work-life balance

  • Activities | 9%
  • Social support | 6%
  • Advice | 5%
  • General information | 5%
  • Specific information | 5%

Military practices and culture

  • General information | 9%
  • Specific information | 9%
  • Advice | 4%
  • Activities | 4%
  • Advocate | 4%

Own well-being

  • Social support | 10%
  • Activities | 7%
  • Counseling | 7%
  • Advice | 3%
  • Other | 2%

NOTE: Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

This is the problem-solving process explored in the survey

Survey flow from specific issues to problem resolution

  1. Issues experienced across problem domains
  2. Top problem domains
  3. Needs for each top problem
  4. Resources used to help meet need
  5. Problem resolution or unmet needs

Seeking resources

What resources did spouses use to try to meet their needs?

Among those who did not reach out to any resources the most common reason for not reaching out was that they did not know whom to contact for help.

Although 90% of spouses who had problems and needs reported seeking out resources for help, among those who did not reach out to any resources, the most common reason for not reaching out was that they did not know whom to contact for help (32%).

Military resources or civilian resources?

  • 71% Military and civilian resources
  • 15% Only military resources
  • 14% Only civilian resources

Top Military Resources

  • Military-covered medical provider | 43%
  • Military internet resources or official Army social media | 29%
  • Spouse's chain of command | 23%
  • Army community service | 21%
  • Military mental health care provider | 21%

Top Civilian Resources

  • Personal networks outside the military | 52%
  • Other military spouses known in person | 43%
  • Nonmilitary internet resources | 35%
  • Unofficial social media military networks | 28%

The Problem-Solving Process

How meeting the needs of spouses affects their attitudes toward the military

The average attitude rating was 0; larger negative numbers reflect morenegative attitudes, while larger positive numbers reflect more- positive attitudes.

Problems?
No: 5% had no problems

0.6 attitude rating -- Spouses with no problems showed the most-positive attitudes toward the military.

Yes
Was help needed?
No: 17% had problems but did not need anything 0.23 attitude rating Yes
Were resources used?
No: 8% had problems and needs but did not use any resources –0.04 attitude rating Yes
Did resources help?
No: 22% had unmet need –0.37 attitude rating -- Those who had problems and needed help but had unmet needs showed the least-positive attitudes toward the military. Yes
  48% had all needs met 0.0 attitude rating -- Nearly half surveyed reported that resources helped and all needs were met.

Derived from Today's Army Spouse Survey: How Army Families Address Life's Challenges, by Thomas E. Trail, Carra S. Sims, and Margaret Tankard, RAND Corporation, RR-3224-A, 2019 www.rand.org/t/RR3224.

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.

To view this infographic online, visit www.rand.org/t/IG145.

Cover image: Department of Defense. Icons from Getty Images: A-Digit, JakeOlimb, 4x6, VasjaKoman, and laski.

IG-145

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation infographic series. RAND infographics are design-focused, visual representations of data and information based on a published, peer-reviewed product or a body of published work.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.