This pilot focuses on relationship of military deployment-induced parental absence and combat stress with lower educational and behavioral outcomes among military children. Linking Unites States Marine Corps deployment information from bases in North Carolina with educational records at the North Carolina Research Center, the study examines the effects of family insecurity on education trajectories for military families. The pilot investigates whether the location and conditions of deployment translate into different educational trajectories. Using this sample of Marine families, it also looks at the connection between combat experience and mental health in the deployed parent, and the causal effects of mental health issues on child life trajectories.
While there is an abundance of research regarding how school quality influences student performance, there is relatively little research that explores how parents contribute to and influence childhood educational trajectories. By isolating causal effects within this sample of military families, the pilot fills this research gap, as it estimates whether and how parental absences and workplace stresses affect their school-age children’s educational and behavioral outcomes.