Clinical Edge

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Depression Among Military Spouses Evaluated

Depress Anxiety; ePub 2018 Aug 13; Donoho, et al

Deployment alone may not negatively affect military spouses, but rather it may be the mental health impact on the service member, especially posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that increases the odds for major depressive order (MDD) among military spouses. This according to a recent study that uses data from the largest study of military families in the US to examine the demographic, military‐specific, and service member mental health correlates of probable diagnosis of MDD among military spouses. Researchers found:

  • Of the 9,038 spouses, 4.9% had a probable diagnosis of MDD.
  • In unadjusted models, spouses of service members who deployed and experienced combat‐related events, were enlisted, had a probable PTSD diagnosis, or screened positive for alcohol misuse were more likely to screen positive for MDD.
  • In adjusted models, only spouses married to enlisted service members or those with PTSD had increased risk for MDD.
  • Other demographic and military‐related factors associated with MDD in spouses included less educational attainment, unemployment, having ≥4 children, and having prior military service (although not currently serving in the military).


Donoho CJ, LeardMann C, O’Malley CA, et al. Depression among military spouses: Demographic, military, and service member psychological health risk factors. [Published online ahead of print August 13, 2018]. Depress Anxiety. doi:10.1002/da.22820.