Military Families

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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.

  • U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samuel Taylor, combat videographer, with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division returns from deployment at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec. 19, 2017, photo by Lance Cpl. Tanner Seims/U.S. Marine Corps

    Tool

    A Guide to Evaluating Marine and Family Division Programs, Services, and Capabilities

    For Marine and Family Division programs and services to remain meaningful, credible, and practical, their effectiveness must be able to be demonstrated. How might program implementers determine effectiveness and guide efficient use of scarce resources?

    Sep 30, 2021

  • Spouses of soldiers participate in a Spouse Spur Ride at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, November 15, 2008, photo by Sgt. Mike Alberts/U.S. Army

    Report

    How Do Army Spouses Find the Help They Need?

    The U.S. Army provides many resources to help soldiers and their families cope with military life. But Army spouses typically learn about services through word-of-mouth rather than through program outreach efforts. The Army could do more to get the word out about available assistance.

    Dec 15, 2021

Explore Military Families

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Incentives Offered

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours because they believed doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, and possibly job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours under some circumstances, including if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Marine Corps sergeant relays commands during a tactical exercise to recover aircraft and personnel at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, January 25, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Offered Incentives

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours, believing that doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, or job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Report

    Report

    TRICARE Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Benefit: Comparison with Medicaid and Commercial Benefits

    This study compared the Applied Behavior Analysis benefit provided by TRICARE as an early intervention for autism spectrum disorder with similar benefits in Medicaid and commercial health insurance plans.

    Jan 11, 2016

  • Report

    Report

    Evaluation of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership: Progress Report on First Stage of Analysis

    This first of two reports documents the first phase of RAND research to assess the Military Spouse Employment Partnership's progress in supporting military spouse employment and closing the wage gap between military and civilian spouses.

    Dec 28, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    Identifying Key Workplace Stressors Affecting Twentieth Air Force: Analyses Conducted from December 2012 Through February 2013

    A series of focus groups with 20th Air Force personnel and their spouses helped assess such issues as job stress and satisfaction and problem behaviors and solicit suggestions for addressing them.

    Dec 23, 2015

  • 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

    Commentary

    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

    Commentary

    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

    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

    Report

    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

    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

    Report

    Family Resilience in the Military

    The U.S. Department of Defense has 26 policies related to family resilience, but definitions of the term 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

    Report

    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

    Commentary

    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.

    Report

    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

    Report

    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

    Q&A

    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

    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

    Blog

    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

    Report

    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

    Solution

    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