The effects of relocation on Royal Air Force families

  • J.K. Matthiesen

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This doctoral research project examines the effects that geographical transience has on Royal Air Force families. The methodology employed in this exploratory and qualitative study consisted largely of open-ended interview questions but also included a series of demographic variables. In total, 29 RAF personnel without families, 33 RAF personnel with families, 33 RAF spouses, and 15 RAF children participated in this research (N = 110). All respondents volunteered to take part in the study and were based in the United Kingdom at the time of data collection. The interviews were transcribed and content coded according to six major relocation themes arising from the literature (change, tasks, support, coping, difficulty, and outcome). QSR NVIVO 2.0, a qualitative data analysis software package, was used to facilitate the process. Through the utilisations of qualitative methodology, the researcher was able to offer various novel and reoccurring variables that appear to play an important role (at least subjectively) in relocation. Additionally, frequencies associated with these factors were presented. The findings were integrated with those from the literature in order to offer an initial comparison and differentiation between civilian and military samples. The main theoretical contributions were the introduction of the concept of mobile mentality, the creation of a novel relocation model that takes familial interaction into account, and the development of a taxonomy for the classification of relocation outcomes. Finally, additional observations, recommendations for future research, and practical implications are reviewed.
Date of Award2005
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJane K. Matthiesen (Supervisor)


  • relocation
  • Royal Air Force families

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