The Deployment Life Study

The Deployment Life Study: Methodological Overview and Baseline Sample Description

Terri Tanielian
Benjamin R. Karney
Anita Chandra
Sarah O. Meadows
Deployment Life Study Team
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 98
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt6wq8zn
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  • Book Info
    The Deployment Life Study
    Book Description:

    The Deployment Life Study was designed to provide a deeper understanding of military family readiness and its sources. This report describes the theoretical model that informed the study design, the content of the baseline assessment, the design and procedures associated with data collection, sampling and recruiting procedures, and the baseline sample of military families.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8676-1
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, History, Technology, Health Sciences, Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Of the many demands that military life imposes on service members and their families, deployments are perhaps the most stressful. When service members are required to leave their homes for extended periods, they and their spouses and children must adapt to new roles and responsibilities, even as they miss the daily support and connection that most people expect from family life. The demands do not end when the service member returns home. Deployments to theaters of operations pose additional challenges for military families. Experiences in battle can leave visible and invisible wounds that make reintegration to family life as much...

  9. CHAPTER TWO What We Know About Deployment and Military Families
    (pp. 5-12)

    Throughout U.S. history, the effects of deploying to war zones have been documented in the research literature, as well as in popular media. The effects of combat exposure on prior-era veterans brought increased understanding of mental health problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, a large body of research has shown that having a family member deployed can have negative impacts on military spouses and children, although the bulk of this research has occurred in the past 20 years (for examples, see Flake et al., 2009; Jensen, Lewis, and Xenakis, 1986; Murphey, Darling-Churchill, and Chrisler, 2011; Norwood, Fullerton,...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Conceptual Model
    (pp. 13-18)

    In the interest of supporting a comprehensive understanding of the association between deployment and the health and well-being of military families, the Deployment Life Study includes assessments of a wide range of variables. Selection of those variables required a theoretical framework to suggest which ones, out of the countless constructs that could have been assessed, warranted inclusion within the limited claims we could make on the time of participating families. Thus, a preliminary step in the design of the Deployment Life Study was to identify a conceptual model that accounts for well-being in military families across the deployment cycle and...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Deployment Life Study Design
    (pp. 19-36)

    All methods, procedures, and instruments used in the study were approved by the RAND Human Subject Protection Committee. The survey instruments were licensed by the DoD Washington Headquarters Services in December 2010 (Record Control Schedule [RCS] HA [TRA] 2423). In addition, the study was granted a certificate of confidentiality from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (CC-MH-10-55).

    The longitudinal study design used for the Deployment Life Study includes nine individual assessments with the service member, his or her spouse, and a child between the ages of 11 and 17 (if available) over a three-year period. In this manner, assessments...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Constructs and Measures
    (pp. 37-54)

    This chapter describes, in more detail, the rationale for specific constructs within the four main domains assessed in this study (i.e., preexisting conditions, experiences during deployment, immediate outcomes, and long-term outcomes). It also describes the specific variables used to operationalize each construct.

    It is important to keep in mind that many variables can be treated as measures of more than one construct, depending on the research question. For example, a service member’s mental health could be considered a preexisting condition (i.e., an enduring trait) when used to predict marital dissolution. Yet, in another analysis, service member mental health may be...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The Baseline Sample
    (pp. 55-68)

    This chapter provides a description of the baseline Deployment Life Study sample. Screening and completion of the baseline survey for Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps families began in March 2011 and concluded in August 2012; completion of the baseline survey for Navy families occurred between November and April 2013. The baseline sample consisted of 2,236 households in which a service member and a spouse completed the baseline survey instrument and an additional 488 households in which a service member, spouse, and study child completed the survey. Thus, the total number of households in the baseline sample is 2,724: 2,724...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Summary and Conclusion
    (pp. 69-72)

    The Deployment Life Study is the result of a keen interest, on the part of both policymakers and researchers, in military families. Specifically, recent attention by DoD has focused on family readiness. Families, like service members, who are prepared for deployment should, in general, be able to weather the storm. Yet exactly what it means to be “ready” at the family level—what ready families look like, what resources they use, what can help identify vulnerable families—is not well understood. The Deployment Life Study is designed to fill this gap. As such, the overarching goal of this Deployment Life...

  15. References
    (pp. 73-82)