The impact of living arrangements on the health and well-being of army spouses whose loved ones are deployed: a quantitative analysis of the differences in social support for families living on and off base

This quantitative study examines the impact of living on base versus off base on the health and well-being of Army spouses and children whose significant other is deployed. This study uses data from the 2004 Military Families Survey conducted by the Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University. 1,053 spouses of Army personnel are surveyed on their health, well-being, and types of support they use to cope. Results from this study find that spouses whose significant other is deployed are more likely to have poor mental health and in tum, are more likely to use more military resources. Findings also show that spouses who live on base are more likely to have trouble with their children than spouses who live off base. No significant mental health differences were found between spouses living on base and off base. Findings from this study point to a need for increased implementation of counseling, therapy, and resources for military families and increased promotion of such services. Keywords: Military, Deployment, Mental Health, Well-Being, Social Support