Relational Turbulence Theory Applied to the Transition from Deployment to Reintegration

Leanne K. Knobloch, Jennifer A. Theiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transition from deployment to reintegration can be unexpectedly demanding for military couples as they cope with the changes that arose during separation and identify new patterns of relating. Although the postdeployment transition has important ramifications for the well-being of military couples, the homecoming process is relatively undertheorized and underresearched within the deployment cycle. We identify relational turbulence theory, and its predecessor, the relational turbulence model, as a conceptual approach that may account for the upheaval that returning service members and at-home partners encounter during the transition from deployment to reintegration. We delineate relational turbulence principles and research with the goal of evaluating their promise for understanding the postdeployment transition. We also describe implications for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-549
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family Theory and Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Deployment
  • interdependence
  • military couples
  • reintegration
  • relational turbulence theory
  • relational uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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