Clare Knox

Thesis title:

Perinatal mental health and well-being among UK military spouses/partners (a CASE project with the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force Families Federations)


Clare’s PhD aims to understand perinatal mental health among the spouses and partners of military personnel using a mixed methods approach. The four objectives of the study are to:summarise the findings from the previous international literature on the perinatal mental health of military spouses/partners;examine the prevalence of perinatal mental health among military spouses/partners compared with women in the general population;explore the influence of having a partner in the UK military on the mental health and well-being of military spouses/partners during pregnancy and after childbirth; andconduct interviews with healthcare professionals and those in the military community with a remit for military family health, (e.g. charity representatives, military welfare), to understand service provider perceptions of military spouses/partners experiences during the perinatal periodThere is currently a lack of UK research on perinatal health among military spouses/partners and how military life may influence their well-being during this time. While US research has been conducted in this field, cultural and military differences mean that factors identified as influential in previous studies may not apply in the UK. This project will be the first UK study of its kind. Its collaborative nature will provide an evidence-base regarding perinatal health among UK military spouses/partners and recommendations for supporting women and families during this time. The research will draw on the expertise of its academic supervisors and department at KCMHR and the support and guidance of the partner organisations from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force Family Federations. Findings will also be shared with the Ministry of Defence to help inform the Armed Forces Families Strategy.

First supervisor:

Nicola Fear

CASE partner:

Army Families Federation & Navy Families Federation


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health