The Impact of Military Life on the Well-being of Children in Single-parent Military Families


This article examines how the impact of military life can affect the well-being of children living in single-parent military families in Canada.



Introduction: The military lifestyle presents unique challenges to children from military families, such as frequent family separations due to operational deployments and training. There is little evidence on how children in single-parent military families adjust to the demands of military life. The current study examined the impact of military life on the well-being and quality of child-parent relationships in single-parent Canadian Armed Forces families. Methods: Focus groups were conducted with 65 single parents from several locations in Canada. Parents were asked about their satisfaction with the quality of the child-parent relationship, their child's well-being, and the phases of deployment presenting the most challenges to their child. Results: Most parents reported that their children were doing well; however, deployment was identified as a major stressor that took a toll on children's well-being. Moreover, for some families, deployment reduced the quality of the child-parent relationship. Discussion: The findings are discussed by comparing the similarities and differences in child well-being and the child-parent relationship within single-parent military families to those within single-parent civilian families and dual-parent military families.

Full Reference

The impact of military life on the well-being of children in single-parent military families. Alla Skomorovsky, Deborah Norris, Amanda Bullock, and Kimberly Smith Evans. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health 2016 2:2, 29-36