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Army Spouse Survey

Army Spouse Survey: Data to help the Army meet spouses' unique needs

The Most common of 96 issues facing Army spouses

  • 56% feel stressed, overwhelmed, or tired
  • 50% their soldiers feel stressed, overwhelmed, or tired
  • 39% experience loneliness or 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

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

Military practices and culture

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

Own well-being

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

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

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?

Most spouses reported contacting both for help

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

Top Military Resources

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

Top Civilian Resources

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

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.

5% had no problems
0.6 attitude rating. Spouses with no problems showed the most-positive attitudes toward the military.
Was help needed?
17% had problems but did not need anything
0.23 attitude rating
Were resources used?
8% had problems and needs but did not use any resources
−0.04 attitude rating
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.
All needs met
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

Research conducted by

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