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.
Research conducted by:
RAND Arroyo Center;
RAND Project AIR FORCE;
RAND National Security Research Division;
News Releases (10)
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been hard on military marriages, with the risk of divorce rising directly in relation to the length of time enlisted service members have been deployed to combat zones. The negative effects of deployment were largest among female military members.
Spouses, family members, and others who provide informal care to U.S. military members after they return home from conflict often toil long hours with little support, putting them at risk for physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Army children whose parents have deployed 19 months or more since 2001 score lower on standardized tests than other Army children whose parents have deployed for shorter periods of time.
U.S. military officials should improve efforts to identify those at-risk and improve both the quality and access to behavioral health treatment in response to a sharp rise in suicide among members of nation's armed forces.
Children and spouses of military members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan report facing challenges as family relationships change and they assume more responsibility for household duties during deployment.
Children in military families may suffer from more emotional and behavioral difficulties when compared to other American youths, with older children and girls struggling the most when a parent is deployed overseas.
As the U.S. military continues to rely on the National Guard and Reserve for overseas deployments, making sure their families are adequately prepared for those missions is critical.
The U.S. military should reassess its child care system to look for ways to make it better fit the needs of military families and more effectively meet recruitment, readiness and retention goals.
April 12, 2007 news release:RAND Study Finds Divorce Among Soldiers Has Not Spiked Higher Despite Stress Created By Battlefield Deployments.
Most U.S. military reservists see their earnings increase when they are called to active duty, contrary to the common belief that the earnings of reservists fall when they are activated.