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Deployment and Family Separation : An Annotated Bibliography.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Swan, Rachelle. et al.
Corporate Author: 
Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University.
Page Count: 

Deployment, and the family separation that accompanies it, are defining experiences of military life. Researchers have studied family separation during deployment in relation to stress, well-being, child behavior problems, declines in marital satisfaction, and attitudes toward reenlistment. When families are unable to successfully adapt to separation, the performance of military members may be undermined. Research also shows that certain individual and environmental characteristics, such as marital stability prior to separation and use of social support, can moderate the relationship between deployment-related stress and well-being.

The Department of Defense invests considerable resources to prepare members and their families for the challenges and changes brought on by family separation. And although there is a vast research literature on family separation, there are few attempts to merge insights from military and civilian research. This annotated bibliography provides researchers and others with information about the methods and findings of existing studies on deployment and temporary family separation.

This document contains brief descriptions of 66 studies, most of which were conducted during the past 20 years, on deployment and family separation. The authors identified five categories of outcomes related to deployment and family separation. These categories include: 1. Child outcomes, 2. Family adjustment and coping, 3. Marital relationship, 4. Mental health and well-being, and 5. Job outcomes.

The authors chose the most current and relevant studies/reports identified in each of the deployment outcome categories to review in this annotated bibliography. The number of studies reviewed in each category ranges from 8 to 21, resulting in a total of 66 reviews. Thus, this is not an exhaustive review of the literature, but a representation of the type and quality of research previously conducted. It is intended to serve as a useful tool in the development of future studies.

The bibliography is set up both as an Excel spreadsheet and a text document. In the Excel spreadsheet version, each study appears in a row; specific information about each study appears in the columns. This format allows readers to scan through columns across studies. Studies with particular study features, such as samples of a certain size or measurement of specific constructs, can be identified quickly. In the text document, information is presented separately for each study/report. The column headings from the spreadsheet are labeled on the left, and the corresponding information is presented at the right. This format allows readers to focus on all features of a particular study at a glance. (Author abstract modified)

Additional authors: Barros, Eduardo. Chang, Yuhsuan. Kurek, Katherine E. Kwon, Young In. Robbins, Natashia. Wenz, Heather. Groves, Mallory. Bea, Dan. MacDermid, Shelley M. Weiss, Howard M.

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