Dr. Ciji Blue (University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice)


Topic: How to treat the Cross-Cultural Adjustment of Expatriate Military Spouses: Theoretical & Clinical Implications

Thematic area:  (Mental) Health and Social Work / Migration and Integration

Language: English 


Accompanying military spousal support increases service member career retention intention attitudes, develops personal & family well-being, enhances job satisfaction, and improves productivity for military service members during an international relocation. Though mutually beneficial for the Armed Forces and military families, the psychosocial stressors of military life, specifically an international relocation, can be challenging for the military spouse. “Relocation Stress” is identified as one of the top five stressors of military life by 45% of military spouses and 44% of service members.
Approximately, 1/3 of military service members experience a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) move each year. The PCS moving cycle can generate disruptions in military spouse functioning with chronic psychological effects occurring well after the relocation is completed. Common psychological stressors of military spouses include the inability to achieve meaningful employment, loss of personal autonomy, financial strain from single incomes, loss of support systems, language barriers, and, subsequently, adjustment difficulties (Blakely, et. al, 2012).

In this workshop, participants will learn what cross-cultural adjustment difficulties military spouses experience on foreign installations, the coping practices that military spouses use to mitigate maladjustment, the key psychological stressors that expatriate military spouses identify, theoretical underpinnings of adjustment, and the clinical implications of treatments for local behavioral health providers.