Super hooah : an exploratory study of the role conflict between being a mother and a soldier.
There are 8,793 female active duty service members in the Army who are single parents. There is little research that focuses on the experiences of the enlisted active duty single mother as opposed to studies on the impact single motherhood has on their dependents. Informed by sociological theory, military history, and previous research, this research explores how single active duty enlisted women negotiate and balance the two roles of being a mother and a soldier. Research was conducted through purposive snowball sampling by gathering semi-structured interview data with single mothers between the ages of 18-40 who served in the Army under enlisted status. This research explores and analyzes the role conflict that emerges when the dual roles of mother and soldier intersect. Results indicate that the role conflict experienced is reflective of rank separating into two categories: junior enlisted and senior enlisted. Junior enlistees expressed a more difficult time reconciling the two roles, while senior enlistees communicated that the soldier role was first with little conflict. In addition to the differences experienced, each group expressed similarities in two ways: that the Army, as an institution and interpersonally, provided emotional and physical support for them as single mothers, and that each group found pride in the self-sufficiency of their children. This research provides in-depth exploration of the role conflict between being a mother and a solider furthering insight into the greedy institutions of the family and the Army. This research also contributes to literature discussing how women inhabit male dominated spaces.
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