Through Our Eyes: A Focused Visual Ethnography Exploring the Lives of Adolescents Living on a Canadian Military Base as They Experience Reintegration in the Context of Post-Afghanistan Deployment
Individual and Family Studies
SubjectCanadian Armed Forces
Military Family Reintegration
Visual Focused Ethnography
Military Youth Resilience
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractMilitary families are embedded within the context of military systems, leaving a pervasive influence on several domains of family life. Military family researchers have emphasized the importance of a continued effort to focus on the well-being of families after the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has engaged in over a decade of war. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable after experiencing the persistent stress of war-induced parental separations, which may lead to increased risk of mental health problems. These high-conflict deployments have been significantly more stressful for adolescents than in previous generations, due to a cumulative effect of the extended periods of parental absence. Military culture, such as the values and beliefs of the military organization, can influence adolescents’ perspectives in military families. Military families inherently adopt the values and beliefs from the military organization. Interventions for adolescents should be developed using a contextual standpoint, which accounts for the influence of military culture. Adolescents in military families have been described as resilient, suggesting environmental influences surrounding them can act as a protective factor. This study provides a window into the experiences of youth living on a Canadian military base, adjusting to life with a family member who has returned from a combat mission abroad. The goals of this qualitative study were to engage participants through using focused visual ethnography to get a deeper understanding of how the larger context influences their ability to thrive as a youth living within a CAF family. Key findings show that wartime deployments created opportunities and challenges for youth and their families, youth developed important coping skills to get through the stressful military lifestyle; and lastly, the military community and context has the potential to provide a positive influence on adolescent’s resilience. Keywords: military, youth, resilience, focused ethnography, visual methods
CitationHawryluk, H. (2020). Through Our Eyes: A Focused Visual Ethnography Exploring the Lives of Adolescents Living on a Canadian Military Base as They Experience Reintegration in the Context of Post-Afghanistan Deployment (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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