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Behind Family Lines

A Longitudinal Study of Dutch Families' Adaptations to Military-Induced Separations

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Behind Family Lines

A Longitudinal Study of Dutch Families' Adaptations to Military-Induced Separations

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Samenvatting

This article serves to provide more insight into Dutch family members' adaptations to military-induced separations, capturing the perspectives of multiple family members (partners, children, service members, and service members' parents) and different aspects of family life (work and family conflict, well-being, social support, quality of family relationships, children's reactions to parent-child separation and reunion, parents' experiences in the course of their son's or daughter's deployment, and service members' turnover intentions). For that purpose, quantitative and qualitative data have been collected from service members and their partners (before, during, and after deployment) as well as from service members' parents. The study finds that military families generally seem to adapt quite well to separation and reunion processes : service members' partners are fairly resilient, the greater majority of the children do quite well, and relationships prove fairly stable. Nonetheless, for a number of families, deployment is a source of stress. For instance, the scores of nearly one third of the partners polled during the separation indicated distress, for a quarter of the children the parent-child separation was rather difficult, roughly one in six relationships deteriorated, and about one fifth of the service members' parents had negative deployment experiences. The adaptation (or maladaptation) of families is better explained by the interrelations between various variables rather than by one single factor. Social support (from family, friends, fellow military families, the military, and others) has important beneficial effects. Practical and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.

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Trefwoorden
OrganisatieNederlandse Defensie Academie
Gepubliceerd inRes Militaris The Geneva School of Governance, Vol. 2, Uitgave: 1, Pagina's: 1-16
Jaar2011
TypeArtikel
TaalEngels

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