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Family Adaptation to the Demands of Army Life: A Review of Findings

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Final rept. May-Sep 1992

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This report reviews 188 recent reports of military and civilian research that consider the main challenges facing military families. The report discusses how to adapt to the potential stresses of 1 relocation, 2 living in a foreign culture, 3 prolonged family separation, 4 physical danger, and 5 the institution of the Army itself. The sources for these reports are the three agencies that were required by the Army to examine this challenge the U. S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the RAND Corporation. In this report, adaptation is defined as the ability of soldiers and their families to meet Army demands and to achieve personal and family satisfaction at the same time. The stressor that appears to pose the most serious threat to family adaptation is separation, which is even more stressful when combined with deployment to a war zone. Although there are many aspects of the Army as an institution that impact on families, perhaps the most stressful is the expectation that the mission of the Army takes priority, with the attendant consequences of long, often unpredictable, hours and extensive volunteer work for many of the soldiers spouses. Finally, relocation is a frequent, but less demanding, stressor that can have both positive and negative consequences, depending on the attitudes and circumstances of the family. Family Adaptation, Deployment, Separation, Family Programs, Relocation, Quality of life.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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