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.

  • Report

    Preventing Domestic Abuse in the U.S. Armed Forces

    Domestic abuse has severe consequences for service members, their families and, potentially, unit readiness. What strategies could help prevent domestic abuse before it occurs and help the military with communication to reach individuals who might have risk factors for domestic abuse?

    May 16, 2023

  • 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

  • Veterans in America


    The Vital Support of Post-9/11 Military Caregivers

    In this episode of Veterans in America, we talk about the military caregivers that inspired RAND's landmark study of America's

    Nov 12, 2018

  • Pfc. Lena Wright, a supply clerk, catalogs and monitors class VIII supplies during a mass casualty exercise, October 17, 2012


    An Inside Look at Life in the Army's Junior Ranks

    History records the names of generals, not of the privates filling out supply forms, cleaning out trucks, or huffing through another training exercise. But those privates keep the U.S. Army running. RAND research provides their unfiltered take on life in the ranks.

    Oct 31, 2018

  • Veterans in America


    Veterans in America Podcast

    Veterans in America is a special limited-series podcast that journeys into the lives of veterans and their loved ones, and shares insights from RAND research on how to improve their lives.

    Oct 29, 2018

  • A U.S. Marine Corps soldier and his family outside their home


    Frequent Moves Affect Military Family Stability

    About one-third of military service members experience a permanent change of station every year. Sometimes the moves have a positive effect, such as moving to a more desirable location, but they can also disrupt family stability. The DoD offers programs, policies, and services to address the disruptions.

    Oct 18, 2018

  • Coalition special forces soldier in Chak district, Wardak province, Afghanistan


    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2017-2018

    This RAND Arroyo Center report presents research-based insights and courses of action to help the U.S. Army meet five of its highest priorities.

    Aug 29, 2018

  • An officer walking his children to school and daycare on Bike and Walk to School and Work Day at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, May 4, 2016


    Army Soldier and Family Needs Vary Across Bases

    The Army has many programs to help soldiers and their families cope with military life. But do these programs address their most pressing needs? An analysis of survey data, interviews, and focus groups from 13 garrisons provides local-level insight into soldier and family issues and needs, as well as the resources they use.

    Jul 24, 2018

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    How resilience affects the transition experiences of UK Service leavers

    RAND Europe was commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust to research how resilience can affect transition experiences and outcomes for UK Service leavers.

    Jun 27, 2018

  • Report


    Understanding resilience as it affects the transition from the UK Armed Forces to civilian life

    Building on a previous consultation looking at the transition experiences of UK Service leavers, RAND Europe was commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust to research the effect of Service leavers' resilience on transition pathways and outcomes.

    Jun 27, 2018

  • Report


    Charting Progress: U.S. Military Non-Medical Counseling Programs

    This chartbook summarizes findings from an evaluation of two programs offered by the DoD that provide solution-focused counseling for common personal and family issues to members of the active and reserve components of the U.S. military and their families.

    Apr 27, 2018

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Feasibility of a Web Intervention for Military and Veteran Spouses Concerned About Their Partner's Alcohol Misuse

    It is feasible to deliver a web-based intervention to help concerned partners of military service members and veterans who suffer from alcohol misuse; partners found the program useful and acceptable.

    Apr 18, 2018

  • Report


    Air Force Sexual Assault Situations, Settings, and Offender Behaviors

    To assist Air Force efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault, this report focuses on providing a better understanding of sexual assaults committed by airmen, including suspect characteristics and behaviors and risky situations and settings.

    Apr 10, 2018

  • U.S. Army soldiers in an exercise on Udari Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, that better prepares them to certify for future deployments, November 2017


    How Does Deployment Experience Compare Across the Services?

    Deployments are a key aspect of U.S. military service. Since 9/11, 2.77 million service members have served on 5.4 million deployments. Accrued time deployed is a relevant metric for measuring military experience, but also for measuring service member and family well-being.

    Mar 6, 2018

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: March-April 2018

    This issue features a Q&A with Michael Rich, Soledad O'Brien, and Francis Fukuyama on the perils of truth decay, and a story on the trend toward unretirement among U.S. workers. The Voices column features Gulrez Shah Azhar on environmental refugees.

    Mar 5, 2018

  • Report


    An Assessment of the Military Survivor Benefit Plan

    This report assesses the Survivor Benefit Plan in terms of participation and benefits, compares it with similar plans in public and private organizations, and considers the feasibility of having the plan provided by commercial sources.

    Feb 26, 2018

  • Grandson who served in Iraq helps his grandfather, who served in WWII


    Supporting Military and Veteran Caregivers from All Eras

    Research suggests ways to improve federal programs that support military and veteran caregivers. Notably, programs should be tailored to the needs of different populations, such as pre-9/11 and post-9/11 caregivers.

    Feb 6, 2018

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Alcohol Use Among Concerned Partners of Heavy Drinking Service Members and Veterans

    An intervention to improve mental health and communication among military spouses worried about their partners' drinking reduced depression more effectively for spouses who also drank heavily.

    Jan 30, 2018

  • People serving themselves from a buffet of food

    Journal Article

    Obesity May Be 'Socially Contagious'

    People who move to a high-obesity area are more likely to become overweight or obese. This may be due, in part, to “social contagion.” Living in a community where obesity is more common may make inactivity, poor diet, and being overweight or obese more socially acceptable.

    Jan 25, 2018

  • Military father with his family on sofa at home


    Helping Military Families: A Look at Non-Medical Counseling Programs in the U.S. Military

    A recent evaluation of the military's non-medical counseling programs suggests that they help military personnel and their families. Participants gave the programs favorable ratings, and most reported improvement over a three-month period.

    Jan 16, 2018

  • A U.S. soldier and his wife talking over breakfast

    News Release

    RAND Administering 2018 'Today's Army Spouse' Survey

    Researchers from RAND will administer a U.S. Army-sponsored survey to provide spouses of soldiers an opportunity to speak out on the challenges they face and the services they find most helpful.

    Jan 2, 2018

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Impact of TBI on Caregivers of Veterans with TBI: Burden and Interventions

    Programs to support caregivers and families of veterans with traumatic brain injuries will benefit from further research on the specific economic and health needs of these caregivers.

    Dec 7, 2017