Effects of Deployment on Military-Connected Children, Spouses, and Families

Kathrine S. Sullivan, Jessica Dodge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


While many aspects of military life can introduce stress into family systems, deployments are often described by military families as the most stressful. Since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, over 2.7 million service members have experienced more than 3.3 million wartime deployments. The impact of deployment on service members has been extensively researched; these may include physical injuries, mental health symptomatology, substance use, and suicidality, problems which may be exacerbated by barriers to seeking treatment. A smaller but growing body of evidence explores the impact that deployments have on the spouses, children, and families of service members. Findings from empirical research with this population suggest that the majority of families weather the stressors of deployment successfully, but a subset of families may be struggling and at risk of adverse outcomes. This chapter discusses the impact of deployment experiences on military-connected spouses, children, and families; this impact is considered distinct from the potential effects experienced during the reintegration period following deployment. While these are undoubtedly intertwined, deployment is time bound while reintegration is a subjective experience that can vary significantly in length depending on the adaptive capacities of the service member and their family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVeteran and Military Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationa Clinical Manual
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783031180095
ISBN (Print)9783031180088
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Deployment
  • Mental health
  • Military family
  • Military spouse
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Deployment on Military-Connected Children, Spouses, and Families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this