School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


David Vacchi


military deployment, military child, deployment resources, military deployment effects, junior- enlisted soldiers




The purpose of this case study was to illuminate the challenges that junior-enlisted soldiers and families endure when preparing for a deployment. This study sought to answer the research question: What are the experiences of military families before and during the deployment of a junior enlisted soldier to include challenges or successes with existing deployment resources and programs? A total of 10 participants were selected utilizing criterion sampling for this study and solicited volunteers from junior-enlisted soldiers and their families in the U.S. Army. The Relational Turbulence Theory served as the theoretical framework for this study and utilized the following data collection methods: (a) one-to-one interviews, (b) focus groups with both the military spouse and soldier, and (c) a completion of a survey named the Family Index of Regenerativity and Adaptation- Military questionnaire. The data analysis portion utilized (a) thematic analysis for one-to-one interviews, (b) comparative analysis for the focus group, and (c) descriptive statistics for the parent survey. The results of this study included the emergence of three themes that illuminates the challenges and successes of junior-enlisted families and deployment preparations. Findings from this suggest that military families rely on information through personal and organizational support networks, word of mouth, and the soldier’s unit to prepare for deployments. This research study was used to design a briefing for junior-enlisted military families who are preparing for future deployments.

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