, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 351-366

Exploring the Role of Social Connectedness Among Military Youth: Perceptions from Youth, Parents, and School Personnel

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Abstract

The increased stress on military families during wartime can be particularly difficult for adolescents. The current study employed 11 focus groups with military youth, parents, and school personnel working with military youth to better understand how youth and their families cope with stressors faced as result of living in a military family. An inductive approach was used for data analysis, where two coders and the lead author coded the transcripts until saturation was achieved. Matrices and data display models were developed to make comparisons across participant groups. Findings revealed that military youth are most worried about making frequent moves and having a parent deployed. However, youth and their parents who had better social connections to each other, their peers, and their neighborhoods appeared to make better adjustments to these challenges. School personnel reported that more military families needed to become aware of the services offered to help families cope effectively. Implications for future research and intervention programs for military youth and their families are discussed.