Associations of combat exposure and parental locus of control in deployed mothers and fathers

Neveen Ali Saleh Darawshy, Abigail H. Gewirtz, Cheuk H. Cheng, Timothy Piehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Relying upon the military family stress model, we evaluated the associations between combat exposure, PTSD symptoms, and parental locus of control (PLOC) among mothers and fathers with history of deployment, using a multigroup analysis. Background: Few studies have investigated the correlates of deployment-related stressors for deployed mothers and none have examined perceptions of parenting efficacy. The relationship between combat exposure and PTSD symptoms may differ by gender. Method: The sample (421 fathers and 117 mothers) was selected by combining baseline data from two distinct randomized controlled trials of a parenting program for post-deployed military families: ADAPT and ADAPT 4 U (Gewirtz et al., 2018a). Results: Our analyses revealed a significant indirect effect of PTSD symptoms between combat exposure and PLOC, among deployed parents, with no gender differences in the indirect effect. Conclusion: Relationships between combat exposure, PTSD symptoms, and PLOC support a military family stress model, and highlight the need to support parents with PTSD symptoms because PTSD symptoms appear to be a mechanism through which combat exposure affects parenting beliefs and perceptions. Implications: Prevention and intervention research should focus on how parenting programs might help to reduce PTSD symptoms and improve parental perceptions of efficacy, confidence, and control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1117
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Family Relations published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of National Council on Family Relations.


  • ADAPT (After Deployment
  • Adaptive Parenting Tools)
  • combat exposure
  • military deployment
  • parental locus of control
  • parents
  • PTSD symptoms


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