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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Children Youth and  Families
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families

Project Description

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will convene an ad hoc committee to study the challenges and opportunities facing military families and what is known about effective strategies for supporting and protecting military children and families, as well as lessons to be learned from these experiences.

The committee will review available data and research on military children and families, including those who have left the military, with attention to differences by race, ethnicity, and other factors. The committee will also review related literature on childhood resilience and adversity. Specific topics may include:

1. What can be learned from the positive experiences military families have and the protection conferred on them through supports provided by the Department of Defense and service branches, with attention to specific interventions that have been effective and how they might be used at broader scales and in non-military contexts.

2. How the challenges presented by military life, such as frequent moves, exposure to trauma, and economic and other stresses to parents, influence children's social-emotional, physical, biochemical, and psychological development, and how those effects may vary across racial, ethnic, and other characteristics.

3. The mechanisms by which resilience can be fostered in military children and families, with attention to the broader literatures on human development, stress exposure, and resilience, as well as available research from other countries.

4. What is needed to strengthen the support system for military families, with attention to consistency of the current system of services and resources across population subgroups, service branches, and military status (including families who have left the military).

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense


Staff Information

Suzanne Le Menestrel,
Study Director
Sheila Moats, Program Officer


Mailing Address
Keck Center
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001


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