Spouses of Ukrainian servicemen-combatants: coping strategies and social capital resource


The article considers the coping strategies used by the wives of Ukrainian servicemen-combatants during their husbands’ deployment, combined with various forms of social capital. We used the research methodology of coping strategies by R. Lazarus and S. Folkman and the theory of social capital by P. Bourdieu, R. Putnam, and D. Coleman. The empirical part of the article is based on the study’s results, which was conducted from January to February 2023 by the method of in-depth semi-structured interviews with ten wives of Ukrainian servicemen-combatants. Most of the wives of Ukrainian servicemen-combatants emphasized the importance of social support from family members (especially children) and friends, which correlates with the bonding social capital. All study participants reported a lack of institutionalized social support from any organizations that correlates with the linking of social capital. Volunteering is one of the most important coping strategies that helps the wives of Ukrainian servicemen-combatants cope with anxiety. The following coping strategies are important for the research participants: “communication with the husband”; “acceptance of the problem” and positive reframing of the husband’s deployment; “learning about a problem”; “keeping busy”; “staying strong”; “venting”; “daydreaming”; “managing personal needs”. The wives of Ukrainian servicemen-combatants rarely use the strategy of “religiosity” and “self-blame”.

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