18-09-2021 | Original Paper
Military Stressors, Parent-Adolescent Relationship Quality, and Adolescent Adjustment
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 11/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
Elements of military life can create challenges for all family members, including military-connected adolescents, and can have detrimental consequences for their adjustment. Although research with samples of military-connected adolescents has examined the influences of military stressors for adolescent adjustment (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety), less research has identified possible mechanisms responsible for these effects, particularly the role of specific familial factors. Drawing from social ecological theory and attachment theory, we examined the associations between military stressors (e.g., parental rank, combat deployments, permanent change of station moves) and self-reported adolescent adjustment (e.g., depressive symptoms, self-efficacy) along with examining adolescents’ perceptions of parent-adolescent relationship quality with both the active duty and civilian parent as a linking mechanism. Using a path analysis, data from 265 Army families were examined to identify the direct and indirect associations between military stressors and adolescent adjustment through parent-adolescent relationship quality. Most military stressors were not significantly related to relationship quality of either parent or indicators of adolescent adjustment. However, parent-adolescent relationship quality with each parent (active duty and civilian parent) was uniquely related to adolescents’ adjustment. Discussion is provided regarding how military stressors and familial factors are conceptualized within the context of military families and implications for future research, family therapy, and policies are suggested.