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Princeton study: Military children and their families remain an invisible subculture
Date:11/11/2013

silience of military children and their families. The articles in this issue of Future of Children expand our knowledge by discussing the nature and sources of positive development of military children and illuminate a path toward a more representative depiction of these youth and their families."

The journal's key findings follow.

  • Demographics: Military families are a diverse population coming in many forms, including not only categories familiar from civilian life two-parent, single-parent, etc. but also, unique to the military, dual-service families (both parents are service members). These families' needs will continue to change, so programs should be adaptive and flexible.

  • Economic conditions: Service members typically earn more than civilians with comparable levels of education. They also receive housing allowances, subsidized child care, tuition assistance and comprehensive health care. However, military life takes a toll on the spouse's earnings, as their careers are interrupted with moves, and they tend to make less than civilian counterparts. Resources have been put in place to strengthen the economic livelihood of military families, but they have not entirely eradicated the problem.

  • Multiple deployments: Since 9/11, multiple deployments have become more common. This is particularly stressful for the youngest children, a group for which we have little data, and who depend on their parents for nearly everything. Families, children and their caregivers must be prepared for disruptions in family life, and normalizing activities should be supported.

  • Child care: The Department of Defense funds the nation's largest employer-sponsored child-care system. However, demand continues to outstrip the supply. This model could be used in civilian life, because, like the military, the civilian sector is struggling to ensure that all families can find and afford high-quality child care.


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Contact: B. Rose Huber
brhuber@princeton.edu
609-258-0157
Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Source:Eurekalert

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