Jessica MacIsaac is in the final year of the Master of Health Studies program and a proud military spouse. Currently, she works full time at the Royal Military College and in the past has held positions across Canada in the public health sector providing health education for various non-for-profit organizations. Her area of research is the resiliency of military spouses in Canada. The flexibility of online learning has allowed her work towards her professional and academic goals while working full time, raising 2 young children, and relocating across the country in support of her spouse’s military career.
Title: Exploring How Resiliency is Defined and Exemplified by an Online Community of Canadian Military Spouses
Abstract: Rationale/Background: The military profession, though a noble one, comes with its own set of unique characteristics. The combination of routine relocations, separation from loved ones and military members being placed in high-risk environments with the potential of injury or death, is a reality for military families. Current resilience research within this community focuses on military members and their children, not spouses. However, research in this area is gaining momentum as creating resilient military families has become a priority for the Canadian Armed Forces. This creates an opportunity to learn more about resilience from the military spouse’s perspective. Research Question: How do military spouses in Canada define and exemplify resiliency amidst the routine challenges associated with the military lifestyle? Methodology: Netnography is an ethnography-inspired methodology employed to understand online communities. A private Facebook group of military spouses will be engaged in which online group conversations will be observed and facilitated. Emerging themes and concepts will be explored in depth by interviewing 3-4 key informants. Data collection could take from 2 to several weeks, or until data saturation is achieved. Implications: Observing and engaging with an online community of military spouses will facilitate learning how military spouses define and demonstrate resiliency, or lack of resiliency. The insights gained could inform new resiliency frameworks and models tailored to the military context and guide the improvement of existing policies and resources for military spouses. Ethics approval pending.