'For other spouses, employment was less about providing an identity or status and instead related to a sense of purpose and structure to their lives. Such participants were largely content to take any form of employment that allowed them to feel they were productive outside the family home:

"… I’ve been working six months since moving up here and I’ve taken a down step … from a well-being point of view, it’s good because I’d rather be out doing something of a lower pay, a lower grade, meeting people in the community, rather than being at home."

'(Molly, 40s, NCO, Army)'

'Another important function of employment was in providing spouses with a means of developing social connections. Some spouses reported how work benefitted them by providing social avenues in which they could meet people following an accompanied posting to a new area where they may not know anyone.

'Such relationships and interactions were reported to have a positive influence on spouse well-being, especially where it allowed them to meet with other people outside the family home:

"… for me in terms of mental health, working does … has been of great benefit in terms of it allows you to get to know people … after a move … it gives you the shared experience …"

'(Anna, 40s, officer, Army)

"… it’s quite nice to be able to talk to other adults as well. I think I’d go insane if I just stayed at home all the time!"

'(Jennifer, 30s, officer, Army)'



‘It’s nice to just be you’: The influence of the employment experiences of UK military spouses during accompanied postings on well-being.

Rachael Gribble, Laura Goodwin, Sian Oram, Nicola T Fear

April 1, 2019