Understanding Resilience Within the Military Family
MetadataShow full item record
In 2011, around one million service members or 43% of military members were parents (Beardslee et al., 2011). Military spouses and children now outnumber military service members 1.4 to 1, with more than 1.2 million dependent children in active-duty families (Clever and Segal, 2013). Military families face many challenges and stressors related to military service including deployment, changes in family routines, concern about the safety of a deployed parent, and concern about the well being of the home-based parent. There is limited understanding of the processes of resilience in the military family, creating a gap between the focus of policy and intervention and prevention programs. The purpose of the study was to identify the important pieces that contribute to military children’s resilience, in order to operationally define resilience within children of military families. The study was a survey methods design in which participants are college students from American Psychological Association Accredited universities who grew up in military families. Participants completed an online assessment battery which included measures of resilience, the parent-child relationship, family functioning, and attachment. The findings suggest that military children’s resilience is related to the following constructs: hardiness, the regard trait in the father-child relationship, certain domains of family functioning (balanced flexibility, chaotic domain), and attachment dimensions (close, anxiety, dependent). These findings, together, suggest that resilience in military children is largely impacted by relationships with family and individual caregivers, suggesting that attachment plays a large role in mediating the stressors related to deployment and membership in a military family.