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Military Adolescent Pandemic Study 2021: MAPS21

APA Citation:

Thomas, J. S., Trimillos, A., & Allsbrook-Huisman, S. (2022). Military Adolescent Pandemic Study 2021: MAPS21. Journal of School Health, 92(11), 1051–1061. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.13227

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined the lived experiences of military-connected adolescents (n = 10) and their parents (n = 9) who moved just before or during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a permanent change of station (PCS) relocation. A socioecological model was used to organize the qualitative interview data from participants. This model suggests that individuals are influenced by diverse factors across several contextual levels: individual, relationship, community, and societal. Overall, several themes emerged describing difficulties and supports across the levels of the socioecological model.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Air Force
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Military families


Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Qualitative Study


Thomas, Jennifer S., Trimillos, Amanda, Allsbrook-Huisman, Stacy


BACKGROUND Military-connected students move between 6 to 9 times throughout their K-12 experience, creating unique challenges relating to integration, adaptation, identity development, and acceptance. However, when transitions occur during a global pandemic, isolation and disconnect with schools and the community create new challenges that impact health and well-being. The MAPS21 study uncovers the lived experiences of military-connected students who have experienced a transition during the pandemic and gives rise to the need for interdisciplinary care within the public-school setting to promote mental health and academic support during and post-pandemic transitions. METHODS Military adolescents and their parent(s) were interviewed and data were analyzed following an interpretive phenomenological process. A social-ecological model served as the guide to understand the participants' experiences and to further inform future supportive measures. RESULTS Seven subthemes surface under Individual, Relationships, Community, and Society and Policy, the levels within the social-ecological model. These subthemes included: anticipatory processes, control, growth and maturity, adapting views, isolation, school support, community support. Conclusion Military-connected students may experience adverse outcomes relating to mental health and academic progression after experiencing a move during the pandemic. This study provides an avenue for teams of interdisciplinary professionals to collaborate within the public-school setting to provide proactive support through engagement and policy development.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Wiley Online

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Pacific Lutheran University, School of Nursing, JST
Military-Connected Student Author/Speaker, Trimillos Consulting & Advising, LLC, AT
Families on The Homefront, SAH


students, covid-19, relationships, community

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  January 2023

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