Military Families in an Era of Persistent Conflict

Bradford Booth and Suzanne Lederer

in The Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399325
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Military Families in an Era of Persistent Conflict

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  • Social Psychology
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Since the start of America’s post–September 11, 2001 military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, military families have been the subject of increasing interest and attention from the media and the public, military leaders, policymakers, government agencies outside the military, nonprofits, researchers, and others. Recent deployments for these conflicts, and widespread recognition of the resulting sacrifices that military families have experienced, have led to unprecedented programmatic and policy responses compared to earlier conflicts. This chapter provides an overview of social science research on military families, with a focus on studies and analyses conducted within the last decade. We begin with a snapshot of the basic characteristics of the population, noting subgroups that deserve particular attention and the reasons why. We then revisit Segal’s ( 1986 ) categorization of the basic demands of military life for families, updating the “greedy institutions” model with an additional dimension: the various phases of the contemporary deployment cycle. We conclude by presenting a set of priorities that we believe should guide military family research, policies, and programs during this “era of persistent conflict.”

Keywords: Military families; deployment; deployment cycle; family support programs; family adaptation; resilience

Article.  11396 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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