Military Families’ Stressful Reintegration, Family Climate, and Their Adolescents’ Psychosocial Health

July, 2020

This paper explores how military families’ postdeployment reintegration experiences relate to the psychosocial health of adolescents.


Reintegration requires individuals, families, and systems to readjust after a period of family disruption. Assessing reintegration is pivotal for understanding how military families are faring and what leverage points exist for enhancing their well‐being. The sample included 238 Active Duty (AD) military families with one service member and one civilian parent. Most parents were married and between the ages of 31–40 years. Adolescents (51.3% boys) ranged from 11 to 18 years (M = 14.13). A path analysis model with data from multiple family members examined the associations between (a) AD and civilian parents' perceptions of their family reintegration and military context, (b) their adolescents' perceptions of family climate, and (3) adolescents' psychosocial health (i.e., anxiety, depression, self‐efficacy, and personal well‐being). Both parents' experiences with family reintegration were indirectly related to adolescents' psychosocial health through indicators of family climate, particularly interparental conflict. The magnitude of significant effects ranged from small to medium, and time since deployment and gender were found to modify select findings. These findings suggest clear leverage points for interventions with military families as they adjust to deployment reintegration, including a focus on parenting, parents' interactions with one another as a family reorients after deployment, and how adolescents perceive their own adjustment and that of their parents.

Full Reference

Orthner DK, Rose R. SAF V survey report: Adjustment of Army children to deployment separations: US Army Family and MWR Programs; 2005.

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