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Millennium Cohort Program

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The Millennium Cohort Program is a long-term research study sponsored by the Defense Department, Defense Health Agency. Both the Millennium Cohort Study of service members and the Millennium Cohort Family Study of military spouses investigate the impact of service life on military service members and their families. They provide a critical view of how military life impacts relationship quality and the physical and psychological health of service members and their families both during and after service affiliation.

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Millennium Cohort Family Study Infographics

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Depression Among Military Spouses: Demographic, Military and Service Member Psychological Health Risk Factors

Nearly 5% of military spouses in this study were found to have a probable diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Factors increasing the likelihood of depression include less educational attainment, large family size, unemployment, prior military service and having a spouse with PTSD.

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Association of Military Life Experiences and Health Indicators Among Military Spouses

The majority of military spouses in this study met Healthy People 2020 national health goals with the exception of strength training and maintaining a healthy weight. The study found that family support from the military was associated with healthier behaviors while having no one to turn to for support was associated with poorer behaviors.

How Well are Military Spouses’ Marital Relationships Faring? report image

The Impact of Military and Nonmilitary Experiences on Marriage

Results of a study on military life and the well-being of military marriages indicated that most couples in the military community do not experience negative consequences from military life. However, there may be impacts for couples who experience significant work-family conflict, and in cases where a service member experiences post-traumatic stress. Also couples without good family or friendship networks and significant financial strain also experience more difficulty.

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Influence of Work and Life Stressors on Marital Quality Among Dual and Non-Dual Military Couples

Stressful military events negatively affect marriage quality, with women in dual-military marriages reporting lower marital quality due to military stress, according to this study. The findings highlight the importance of supporting military spouses through stressful events and potentially tailoring support for female dual spouses.

image of How Well Are Military Children Faring file

Mental Health of Children of Deployed and Non-Deployed Military Service Members

Most military children are functioning well. However, in a minority of children, a parent’s deployment has been linked to attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression and anxiety. The study found that strong family relationships can protect children from the stresses of military life.

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Patterns of Strengths in Military Couples

The majority of military couples have a strong belief system, social support and good family communication. The study found that lower strengths in these areas were linked to lower mental health, marital quality and military satisfaction. These findings highlight the need to adopt a family-centered perspective in military resilience programs and policies.

Demographic Stress Factors for Military Spouses

Demographic Stress Factors for Military Spouses

The study examined military life stress and perceived support among different groups of spouses. Results indicated that spouses over age 35 with a high school diploma or less and two or more children, among other factors, were more likely to report military life stress and less perceived support. Spouses who were part of a dual military couple reported less military life stress and higher perceived support than spouses who had not served.

Perceived Barriers to Mental Health Care Among Military Spouses

Perceived Barriers to Mental Health Care Among Military Spouses

Military spouses face unique stressors but may be reluctant to seek mental health care. The study found that the most frequent barrier to care is logistical, followed by negative attitudes towards mental health care. Spouses with prior or current military service report more negative beliefs about mental health care and greater fear of negative consequences.

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