Help-seeking among airmen in distressed relationships: Promoting relationship well-being. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although a substantial proportion of service members returning from a combat deployment report individual emotional and behavioral disorders as well as intimate relationship difficulties, previous studies indicate that only a minority actually seek mental health services. Little is known about factors that predict help-seeking in this population. We first review key findings from the literature on help-seeking in military and veteran populations, including mixed findings regarding the role of perceived stigma and attitudes toward mental health treatment. We then present data from a longitudinal study of United States Air Force Security Forces following a year-long high-risk deployment to Iraq-including findings regarding who seeks help, for what problems, and from which providers. We also examine whether these findings differ for Airmen in a married or committed relationship versus nonpartnered Airmen and, for the former group, whether findings differ for those in a distressed versus nondistressed relationship. Finally, we discuss implications of these findings for extending couple-based interventions to service members and veterans, and describe a multitiered "stepped" approach for promoting relationship resiliency.

published proceedings

  • Psychotherapy (Chic)

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Snyder, D. K., Balderrama-Durbin, C., Cigrang, J. A., Talcott, G. W., Slep, A., & Heyman, R. E.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Snyder, Douglas K||Balderrama-Durbin, Christina||Cigrang, Jeffrey A||Talcott, G Wayne||Slep, Amy M Smith||Heyman, Richard E

publication date

  • March 2016