Contribution of mutual perceived support to the marital satisfaction of combat commander couples

Limor Zaks Zitronblat, Rachel Dekel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Combat commander couples contend with demanding, unusual, and difficult conditions worldwide. In Israel, which faces an ongoing security threat, the challenges may be even greater. Despite the important role that mutual support plays in the adjustment, well-being, and relationship satisfaction of these couples, there has been very little research on such support and, within it, the sub-construct of perceived support. To better understand the needs of combat commander couples, this study examined the contribution of perceived social support to the marital satisfaction of both partners. Methods: The sample consisted of 248 male combat commanders in the Israel Defense Forces and their female partners. Combat commanders' and partners' assessments of perceived support were measured using the Perceived Agents of Social Support questionnaire, and marital satisfaction was measured using the Hebrew version of the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction scale. Dyadic analysis applying the actor-partner interdependence model was used. Results: The level of perceived support among combat commanders was significantly higher than that among their spouses, whereas no significant difference was found in their marital satisfaction. Positive and significant associations of actor and partner effects were found for both combat commanders and their wives with a stronger contribution by the actor. Discussion: These findings point to the importance of adopting a dyadic perspective, by both researchers and clinicians and policy-makers, in examining perceived support among couples in general, and military couples in particular, because perceived support plays an important role in improving marital satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-110
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Military, Veteran and Family Health
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Israeli Defense Forces Medical Corps.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 The Authors.


  • Combat commander couples
  • Gender
  • IDF
  • Israel
  • Israeli defence forces
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Military couples
  • Perceived support
  • Spouses
  • Support


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