Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 107–117 | Cite as

How Early Childhood Teachers Perceive the Educational Needs of Military Dependent Children

  • Michele L. StitesEmail author


Military dependent children remain a largely unexplored subject, particularly in early childhood education. In an effort to fill the gap in the current literature, this research study focuses on how early childhood teachers perceive the educational needs of military dependent children. Previous research in the areas of geographic mobility, parental separation, and socioemotional needs are reviewed and used as a platform for this study. The study includes a survey developed by the researcher used in conjunction with Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation—Checklist to further examine the needs of these children from the perceptions of their teachers. The results of the study demonstrate that while early childhood teachers do not perceive a significant difference between military and nonmilitary dependent children in the socioemotional domains of prosocial behavior, concentration, and disruptive behavior, they do believe there is a difference related to stability. Additionally, early childhood teachers noted a negative socioemotional and academic impact related to parental separation and a negative academic impact related to geographic mobility. Teachers’ responses indicated mixed beliefs about the social impact of frequent relocations.


Military dependent Geographic mobility Parental separation Early childhood education Socioemotional development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyCatonsvilleUSA

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