Debbie graduated from Staffordshire University in 2005 with an honours degree in Psychology. In 2006 she completed a Masters degree in Work Psychology and Business at Aston Business School. Her dissertation was on well being and quality of working life in armed forces personnel (specifically RAF personnel) and how changes in working life (such as relocation and deployment) can affect the well being of not only service personnel, but also of partners. She suggested that when particular aspects of quality of life were good (for example high social quality of life, such as social support from close friends and family) RAF families were able to deal with the unusual aspects of service life such as long and frequent deployments, and frequent relocation.
This followed from Debbie’s undergraduate research, which focused on armed forces couples and how periods of deployment can affect their relationships (i.e. marriage and long term partnerships). In this research participants suggested that their relationships are unique in a number of ways, and that periods of separation due to deployment only strengthened their relationships, rather than weakening them as they thought others might believe.