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.

  • Research Brief

    Meeting the Needs of Student Veterans Who Are Single Parents

    The G.I. Bill has historically succeeded in helping many veterans train for new vocations. But the benefits have requirements that often do not account for the time constraints and financial realities of single parents. What policies and programs could better support them?

    Feb 20, 2024

  • Essay

    Why Are U.S. Military Families Experiencing Food Insecurity?

    Around a quarter of active-duty service members qualify as “food insecure.” But what's causing that, how to fix it—even what it means—is not clear. Food insecurity is a multifaceted problem that needs multifaceted solutions.

    Nov 6, 2023

Explore Military Families

  • Report


    Employer Partnership Program Analysis of Alternatives

    The Employer Partnership Program (EPP) supports U.S. military reservists and their civilian employers, and maintains a website that allows employers to recruit among reservists, veterans, and family members. This study analyzed usage data from the EPP's website, conducted case studies of Army Reserve units, and interviewed program stakeholders.

    Jan 7, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Gone to War: Have Deployments Increased Divorces?

    In this paper, we use longitudinal individual-level administrative data from 1999 to 2008 and find that an additional month in deployment increases the divorce hazard of military families, with females being more affected.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • couple consoling each other in front of Christmas tree


    Supporting Families Affected by Military Suicide Should Be a Priority for All

    While many of these families fight for honor and respect from the DoD or support from the VA, the comfort that they need will not be provided by either institution, nor should it be. Rather, it is up to us—as their neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and students—to shower these families with the love and support they need and deserve, writes Rajeev Ramchand.

    Nov 29, 2012

  • classroom, empty, chairs, desk, school, table, wood, wooden, room, board, interior, yellow, class, education, floor, furnishings, furniture, indoors, inside, knowledge, learn, lesson, nobody, object, seat, sitting, study, training, educational, schoolroom, seminar, university, work, in a line, row, horizontal


    The Common Core State Standards and DoD Education Activity Schools

    As it implements the Common Core State Standards, the Department of Defense Education Activity should consider developing and providing implementation-specific supports to its schools.

    Nov 12, 2012

  • appointment with Army Career and Alumni Program counselor


    Unemployment Among Post-9/11 Veterans and Military Spouses After the Economic Downturn

    Policymakers need to understand whether military spouses succeed at finding jobs and how veterans fare economically after they leave the military. But these groups differ from the civilian population in important ways, making comparisons difficult.

    Nov 9, 2012

  • A Soldier from the Michigan National Guard, is welcomed home by his daughter after a year long tour in Afghanistan on Sept. 28, 2012.


    RAND Research for Military Family Month

    RAND is a resource for research and policy recommendations that address the challenges faced by military members, spouses, and their children.

    Nov 7, 2012

  • Report


    Assessing Operation Purple, a Summer Camp for Military Youth

    Military family support programs have proliferated, but there has been little evaluation of whether the programs are meeting their key objectives. An examination of the curriculum, themes, and outcomes of Operation Purple found some positive effects from participation and helps lay the groundwork for future studies.

    Jul 25, 2012

  • A captain briefs a group of quick reaction force airmen while they board a mine resistant ambush protected vehicle as part of a combat-stress therapy scenario at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, August 20, 2009


    RAND Research Contributes to the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation

    Adequate compensation is critical to recruiting and retaining an all-volunteer force—in peacetime and wartime alike. To assess the effectiveness of U.S. military pay and benefits, the president directs a review of military compensation every four years. Four RAND studies contributed to this review.

    Jun 29, 2012

  • Report


    What is the Financial Impact of Combat Deaths on Surviving Spouses and Children?

    Over the first four years following the death of a service member, recurring benefits offset more than two-thirds of the losses in estimated household earnings, on average. When combined with the lump-sum benefits the family receives, the benefits are likely sufficient to fully replace the lost earnings for several decades.

    Jun 28, 2012

  • Marine calling a counseling hotline


    Preventing Military Suicides Is a Nationwide Effort

    The numbers of suicides among military personnel is a reminder for us involved in prevention to remain vigilant and work even harder. Let it be a wake-up call to the nation to assume some of the responsibility as well, writes Rajeev Ramchand.

    Jun 14, 2012

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 2012

    Stories cover Iran's nuclear threat, social security in Mexico, programs for veterans, crime costs, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, the health insurance mandate, legal defense, marijuana legalization, global education, and Louisiana's coastal planning.

    May 11, 2012

  • Report

    Assessment of the Content, Design, and Dissemination of the Real Warriors Campaign

    Presents the results of an assessment of the Real Warriors Campaign, a multimedia program designed to promote resilience, facilitate recovery, and support the reintegration of returning servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

    Apr 16, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    How Do Soldiers' Deployments Affect Children's Academic Performance and Behavioral Health?

    With regard to Army families, the study examines the effects of long and frequent parental deployments on children’s academic performance as well as their emotional and behavioral well-being in the school setting.

    Apr 9, 2012

  • military children


    Celebrating the Month of the Military Child

    April is the Month of the Military Child, a national initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families. The celebration is being recognized with events around the country, and is a key national initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Apr 5, 2012

  • Report


    Compensation for Combat Deaths: Policy Considerations

    This briefing identifies policy questions related to compensating service members and their survivors for fatality risk. It compares combat fatality patterns with fatalities occurring in other contexts and discusses current compensation programs.

    Mar 15, 2012

  • A returning U.S. soldier getting hugged by his family


    Military Families: What We Know and What We Don't Know

    Never before in our nation's history have our service members and their families been so challenged and never before have their struggles (and successes) been the topic of so much scholarly attention, writes Sarah O. Meadows.

    Mar 2, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Assessing the Needs of Service Members and Their Families: A New Approach

    Describes a new survey design framework that is centered on what service members and their families believe are their greatest needs.

    Nov 21, 2011

  • Veteran returning home hugging his daughters


    A New Approach for Assessing the Needs of Service Members and Their Families

    A survey tool based on a new methodological framework can be used by the Department of Defense and local military commanders to gauge the problems and problem-related needs of service members and their families, how well those needs are being met, and the barriers and bridges to accessing services.

    Nov 21, 2011

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: Vol. 35, No. 2, Summer 2011

    Stories discuss America after 9/11, Afghan-based solutions, Al Qaeda's narrative, air passenger security, victim compensation, military families, health insurance, entrepreneurship, unemployment, sex, Katrina families, Arab Spring, and a new RAND.

    Sep 1, 2011

  • Testimony


    Effects of Deployment on U.S. Service Members and Their Families

    Testimony presented before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee provides an overview of RAND's extensive research on how deployment affects service members and their families. Issues addressed include combat-related stress, psychological injuries, willingness to reenlist, and the impact of parental deployment on children.

    Jul 27, 2011