Military Connections

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Malloy, Shannon M.
JMU Scholarly Commons
psychology; military; self-esteem; attachment; extroversion; deployment
thesis / dissertation description
There is a long tradition of research on children from military families, which has focused on observations that these children often exhibit both internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors. One of the emphases over that last several decades as the military moves to an all-volunteer force, is a recognition that the military is no longer largely staffed by single males. An emphasis on military families has been exhibited at many different levels. This research compared university students with and without a parental history of military service on extroversion, self-esteem, and attachment style. The hypothesis regarding higher rates of extroversion among children from military families follows from an analysis that extraversion would be a highly desirable trait among service personnel. I also assumed that individuals with a military connection would score higher on self-esteem due to findings that the long-term impact of frequent relocation is high self-esteem. Finally, my hypotheses regarding attachment came from suggestions in the clinical literature that parental absences may lead to insecure attachment patterns. Results indicated that individuals from military families did not differ significantly from individuals without a military connection on any of these personality variables. The results of this study may indicate a greater level of attention to the lives of military families that has positively impacted the attachment and self-esteem of children from military families. These results may also indicate that parental military service does not have a long-lasting effect on the personality variables that were studied.