Social Media as an (Un)Supportive Resource for Military Partners Coping with Military Lifestyle Challenges

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The current study explored how romantic partners of active-duty service members perceived social media as (un)supportive when dealing with military lifestyle challenges. This study also explored coping and support paradoxes as they play out when military partners are using social media to help them cope. Twenty-four partners (female, n = 22; male, n = 2) participated in interviews. Participants reported mostly using Facebook (e.g., spouse groups) for dealing with military lifestyle challenges. Supportive functions included seeking and providing support and relational maintenance and development. Unsupportive functions included reinforced boundaries and support breakdowns. Findings are discussed with a focus on communal coping and coping and support paradoxes.