Internet-based Spousal Communication during Deployment: Does it Increase Post-deployment Marital Satisfaction?


  • Warren N. Ponder Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Regina T. P. Aguirre University of Texas at Arlington



Communication, marital satisfaction, Veteran, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)


The purpose of this study was to explore the question: Is a service member’s post-deployment marital satisfaction correlated with frequency and mode of communication during deployment? This study used an anonymous exploratory design with a sample of 119 Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) married veterans. Service members who communicated daily during deployment with their spouses had higher marital satisfaction scores than those who communicated less than once per week. Additionally, participants who used US mail had the highest marital satisfaction scores compared to telephone and internet-based communication. This study expands the overwhelmingly qualitative current literature to include quantitative analysis of this topic. This study also depicts the veterans’ experiences since many of the previous studies of this topic used samples of spouses.

Author Biographies

Warren N. Ponder, Department of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Ponder is currently employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Readjustment Counseling Service as a social worker treating combat veterans. Mr. Ponder is currently a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Regina T. P. Aguirre, University of Texas at Arlington

Assistant Professor Department of Social Work The University of Texas at Arlington