Challenges Faced by Military Families: Perceptions of United States Marine Corps School Liaisons
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- Aronson, K.R. & Perkins, D.F. J Child Fam Stud (2013) 22: 516. doi:10.1007/s10826-012-9605-1
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The global war on terror has placed a number of stressful demands on service members and their families. Although the military offers a wide range of services and supports to military families, not all families are willing or able to use them. For example, geographically dispersed families can find it challenging to connect with military support resources. School liaison programs (SLPs) were developed by the military to foster the development of local partnerships to enhance the academic success of military children. In this study, all 20 Marine Corps school liaisons (SLs) reported on the frequency and severity of stressors experienced by Marine families. We hypothesized that SLs would encounter families contending with a broad array of challenges, well beyond those related to academics. Indeed, SLs reported that military families sought assistance for a wide array of stressors. School transition stressors were most common for children and youth, while deployment-related stress was most common for Marine families. Despite the limitations of this study, the results suggest that families using the Marine SLPs may be a vulnerable group. Military–school–community partnerships may hold out promise for filling in service gaps faced by those military families experiencing high levels of stressor exposure and low levels of coping resources.