Phenomenological Inquiry of Female Military Spouses’ Intersecting Identities and Role Negotiations

Deidre B Bassolino, Fordham University


This qualitative research study explored how female military spouses (ages 25 to 38) with children, navigate their intersecting personal, social, and cultural identities and role negotiations within a military cultural context during deployments. Utilizing a phenomenological methodology and constructivist-interpretivist framework, 11 participants were interviewed utilizing a semi-structured interview protocol. Qualitative analysis yielded 7 major themes and 23 subthemes. Themes included (a) transitioning to new roles and responsibilities during deployment, (b) navigating the military cultural context and developing a military cultural identity, (c) acclimating to a new social environment and the hierarchy of rank, (d) experiencing the emotional and psychological impact of a spouse role, (e) recognizing a need to identify supports and methods of coping, (f) experiencing personal growth and change due to military lifestyle, and (g) navigating changes in conceptualizations of identity. The findings of this study have implications for clinical practice and future research and serve to shed light on the underrepresented experiences of the female military spouse population.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Womens studies|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Bassolino, Deidre B, "Phenomenological Inquiry of Female Military Spouses’ Intersecting Identities and Role Negotiations" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28029434.