Military Families


Extended and repeated deployments can cause significant stress to military families and may result in lower levels of reenlistment. RAND research has explored the need for military-sponsored child care and the role of military spouses, and continues to provide guidance to policymakers on how to attract and retain personnel with essential skills while also supporting military families.

  • A military family sits in front of their house, photo by Department of Defense

    Research Brief

    A Program Steps Up to the Plate to Aid Vets, Families with Mental Health Care

    Sep 18, 2014

    As federal, state, and local agencies work with the philanthropic community to create models to outsource or leverage potential efficiencies from the private sector, a unique partnership and grant-making program to support veterans and their families has value and could guide future efforts.

  • soldier welcomed home from Afghanistan, photo by Capt. Charlie Dietz/U.S. Army


    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    Mar 31, 2014

    There are 5.5 million military caregivers across the United States, with nearly 20 percent caring for someone who served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Military caregivers experience more health problems, face greater strains in family relationships, and have more workplace issues than noncaregivers. Changes are needed to both provide assistance to caregivers and to help them make plans for the future.

Explore Military Families

  • U.S. Marine Corps General, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a meet and greet with airmen on Yokota Air Base, Japan, November 4, 2015


    Investing in Military Human Capital

    A new effort to review the military's personnel system will focus initially on policies to assign, evaluate, and promote service members. To truly address systematic challenges, however, the scope will need to widen to include how the various military services might size, structure, and support key missions.

    Nov 5, 2015

  • Young man drinking vodka


    Tools for Coping with a Military Spouse's Drinking

    Partners Connect, a research study and web program, aims to help military spouses concerned about a loved one's drinking. Spouses can access free online communication tools and tips for taking care of themselves and their spouses.

    Oct 5, 2015

  • Report

    Airman and Family Resilience: Lessons from the Scientific Literature

    This final report in a series reviews the concepts and measures of resilience, resilience factors, hardiness and flourishing. It highlights the eight fitness domain companion reports and types of Air Force data that could be used to track resilience.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • U.S. Navy Operations Specialist 2nd Class Gary Viator reunites with his family


    Behavioral Health and Service Use Among Civilian Military Wives

    Access to quality behavioral health treatment for eligible family of service members and veterans is an important and growing concern. How do military wives who receive coverage through a military source differ from a comparison group with respect to behavioral health status and use of services?

    Aug 24, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Patterns of Vulnerabilities and Resources in U.S. Military Families

    The appropriate format for services supporting military families depends on how vulnerabilities and resources are distributed across and within those families.

    Jul 14, 2015

  • American soldier video chatting with his family


    Family Resilience in the Military

    The U.S. Department of Defense has 26 policies related to family resilience, but definitions of it vary across the services. To facilitate a comprehensive view of family resilience programming, a well-articulated, standard definition of family resilience is needed.

    Jul 10, 2015

  • A military father and son hugging


    Public-Private Partnerships for Providing Behavioral Health Care to Veterans and Their Families

    Veterans and their families face many barriers to mental health care. Partnerships between a public agency, such as the VA, and a private organization, such as a private hospital, have been discussed as a potential solution. What are the key components for successful public-private partnerships?

    May 18, 2015

  • Woman talking to a man in a wheelchair


    Caring for Our Nation's Hidden Heroes?

    Thanks to a growing list of more than 100 organizations that have pledged their commitment as members of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation's National Coalition for Military Caregivers, our nation is taking long overdue action to support both our wounded warriors and those who care for them.

    May 7, 2015

  • Family members welcome home their heroes at Hulman Field Air National Guard Base, Ind.


    Have Beyond Yellow Ribbon Programs Met Their Goals?

    Beyond Yellow Ribbon funding supports programs intended to provide critical outreach services to personnel returning from deployments and ease their transition into civilian life. An assessment of 13 such programs can help stakeholders and congressional policymakers as they consider future BYR allocations.

    May 4, 2015

  • Folded American flag for a military funeral ceremony


    DoD Response to Military Suicides Could Be Improved

    Suicide prevention efforts are crucial, but having procedures in place to respond is also important. The DoD has no policies on what to do after a suicide to prevent subsequent ones, although there are resources available to help those bereaved and processes to honor the service member and his or her family.

    Apr 9, 2015

  • Kayla Williams, outside the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Virginia


    From Combat to Caregiving: Q&A with Kayla Williams

    Kayla Williams talks about being a female soldier and the spouse of a wounded warrior, why veterans aren't broken and caregivers aren't saints, and more.

    Mar 6, 2015

  • Journal Article

    The Effect of Geographic Moves on Mental Healthcare Utilization in Children

    Children with a geographic move in the previous year have increased odds of mental health encounters. Among adolescents, this increase extends to psychiatric hospitalizations and emergency visits.

    Mar 5, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015


    State of the Union 2015: Clarion Calls on Terrorism, Cyber, Education, and More

    The agenda President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address can perhaps best be characterized as broad, mirroring the range of diverse and emerging issues facing the U.S. in 2015.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • Women network with representatives from Lockheed Martin at the Military Spouse Career Forum and Fair, April 2014


    Advancing the Careers of Military Spouses

    Military spouses face challenges related to military life that can make it difficult for them to maintain and develop careers. The My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) scholarship is one program designed to help them, but only one in five eligible spouses reported using it.

    Jan 21, 2015

  • A servicemember and his wife hold hands


    Getting To Know Military Caregivers and Their Needs

    There are millions of military caregivers—wives, husbands, siblings, parents, and friends—caring for U.S. service members and veterans who are wounded, ill, or injured. These caregivers help their loved ones live better-quality lives, but their own needs may go unmet.

    Jan 5, 2015

  • A soldier speaks to another soldier via webcam

    Research Brief

    Far from Care: Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Care for Remote Service Members and Their Families

    RAND researchers sought to identify how many U.S. military service members and their dependents are remote from behavioral health care and the effects of this distance on their access to and use of care.

    Jan 5, 2015

  • Report

    Access to Behavioral Health Care for Geographically Remote Service Members and Dependents in the U.S.

    Geospatial and longitudinal analyses helped determine how many military service members and dependents are geographically distant from behavioral health care and the resulting effect on use of care.

    Jan 5, 2015

  • Intelligence Specialist Seaman drives a simulator during the Save a Life Tour


    Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Care for Remote Service Members and Their Families

    Roughly 300,000 military service members and 1 million dependents are geographically distant from behavioral health care, and remoteness is associated with lower use of specialty behavioral health care. Telehealth and collaborative care are two promising solutions.

    Jan 5, 2015

  • A woman caring for her ill or injured husband


    Supporting Military and Veteran Caregivers Should Be a National Priority

    Honoring and serving our current and former members of the armed forces, particularly through periods of illness or when recovering from injuries, requires that we attend to their family members and friends who provide the care that is critical to keeping them alive and thriving.

    Dec 3, 2014

  • News Release

    Community-Based Mental Health Providers Need More Preparation to Better Care for Veterans

    Most community-based mental health providers are not well prepared to take care of the special needs of military veterans and their families. A national survey of mental health providers found that few providers met criteria for military cultural competency or used evidence-based approaches to treat problems commonly seen among veterans.

    Nov 12, 2014