Children in Canadian Military-Connected Families: Developmental Assets, Parent Mental Health, and Social-Behavioural Outcomes

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Much of the extant literature on military families is American-based and problem-focused. Very little research has examined the strengths of military families, with emphasis on children from military families. Protective factors, or factors known to prevent the development of behavioural problems, have recently started to gain more attention from researchers. Using a developmental systems lens, this study profiled the developmental assets of children from Canadian military families, examined the relation between developmental assets and youth self-reported problematic behaviour, and determined whether this relation is moderated by the presence of parental mental health symptomology. Thirty-one military families (with at least one child and one parent responding) participated in the study. Slightly more external assets than internal assets were reported for the sample, although each of these fell within the “fair” range, suggesting considerable room for enhancement. Family was the greatest contextual asset reported. Multiple regression analysis revealed that children reporting stronger assets reported less problematic behaviour. Parents’ self-reported PTSD symptoms were used as a moderator to examine whether this relationship remained significant. Although the developmental assets failed to remain a significant predictor of problematic behaviour, inspection of the semi-partial correlations suggests that the numbers of assets account for a large percentage of the variance in problematic behaviour. The current study provides preliminary findings to fill a gap in the knowledge of the personal and contextual assets of military-connected children and the protective role they play in the development of problem behaviour. Implications for clinicians, researchers, and policy makers are discussed.
developmental assets, military-connected children, Military families, parental mental health, social-behavioural outcomes, developmental systems theory
Stelnicki, A. M. (2018). Children in Canadian military-connected families: Developmental assets, parent mental health, and social-behavioural outcomes (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/32985