The purpose of this study is to uncover identity shaping in women of the military. I interviewed eleven women from various branches of the military to uncover changes in their sense of self, emotion management, and role person merge. Six of these my respondents were deployed to combat zones. The women of this study went to basic training and learned how to be a soldier. They go through a process of "manning up" where they leave behind prior behaviors and beliefs and display a masculine front in order to be successful in their military careers. They also demonstrate a role person merge from their prior lives to post reintegration from the military. Combat deployed soldiers displayed a much stronger role person merge after their military career. Lastly, I found women implement specific emotion management strategies in order to cope with the stress of being in the military by turning to family, friends, exercise, and other soldiers.


Emily M. Boyd

Committee Member

Tamara Wilkins

Committee Member

Vicki Hunter

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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