Relational uncertainty is both prominent and pivotal during the transition from deployment to reintegration. Most prior research has considered the outcomes rather than the origins of relational uncertainty, hampering the development of interventions for military couples. We theorize about two predictors of relational uncertainty during the post-deployment transition: suspicion about a partner’s deception and trust. Results of an 8-wave longitudinal study involving 287 U.S. military couples (N = 4,147 observations) revealed that relational uncertainty increased over the transition for both returning service members and at-home partners. Suspicion about a partner’s deception, and particularly trust, predicted the relational uncertainty of military couples at homecoming and over time. These findings advance knowledge about the roots of relational uncertainty and suggest ways to assist military couples upon reunion.
- military couples
- relational uncertainty
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science