Partners of veterans with PTSD: parenting and family experiences

Violette E. McGaw, Andrea E. Reupert, Darryl Maybery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Partners raising children are significantly impacted by living with a veteran who has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This qualitative study explored the parenting and family experiences of partners to veterans with military-PTSD. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight female partners, caring for at least one child below the age of 18 years. Thematic analysis produced four primary themes around parenting, (dis)connection, family identity, and unpredictability. A number of contrasting concepts such as feeling unsupported, yet reluctance to access support, highlighted the complexity of partner experiences. Clear recommendations arose from the study including greater in inclusion in health care, the need for upskilling of service providers and educators in area of family and parenting issues, and clearer pathways for spouses and families to access information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-468
Number of pages13
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • parental mental illness
  • parenting
  • partners of veterans
  • PTSD
  • qualitative research
  • military families

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