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Relationship provisions, self-efficacy and youth well-being in military families

APA Citation:

Mancini, J. A., Bowen, G. L., O’Neal, C. W., & Arnold, A. L. (2015). Relationship provisions, self-efficacy, and youth well-being in military families. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 40, 17-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2015.02.003

Abstract Created by REACH:

Close relationships are an important resource for positive youth outcomes, and this may be particularly true for youth in military families who experience various transitions and changes in family life (e.g., geographic relocations, deployments). One way close relationships can affect youth well-being is through relationship provisions. Relationship provisions can be thought of as the social and emotional resources provided by close connections (i.e., reliable alliance, attachment, guidance, social integration, reassurance of worth, and opportunity for nurturance). This study collected self-report data from military youth (N = 273) to examine the extent to which relationship provisions may impact military youth outcomes (i.e., anxiety, depressive symptoms, personal well-being, and academic performance) and whether military youth self-efficacy may explain this association. Findings showed that greater relationship provisions were linked to higher levels of self-efficacy, which was, in turn, linked to better youth outcomes.


Mental health

Branch of Service:


Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Child of a service member or veteran


Childhood (birth - 12 yrs)
School age (6 - 12 yrs)
Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)


Cross-Sectional Study
Quantitative Study


Mancini, Jay A., Bowen, Gary L., O'Neal, Catherine Walker, Arnold, Amy Laura


Anchored in the social organization theory of action and change (Mancini & Bowen, 2013), this empirical analysis of military youth examines relationship provisions as related to youth outcomes of anxiety, depressive symptoms, personal well-being, and academic performance. Data were collected from parents and their adolescents, ages 11–18, living in the continental United States (N=273 military families). Findings from this analysis of military youth indicated that the relationship provisions available to youth were implicated in more positive youth outcomes, and self-efficacy served as a mechanism linking relationship provisions to anxiety and school performance but not to depression and personal well-being. Policy and practice implications are provided, including the importance of establishing and sustaining youth programs and community initiatives that build on natural, informal networks.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:


Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Human Development and Family Science, The University of Georgia, Athens, JAM
Social Work, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, GLB
Human Development and Family Science, The University of Georgia, Athens, CWO
Human Development and Family Science, The University of Georgia, Athens, ALA


military youth, relationship provisions, social organization theory of action and change, youth developmental and psychological outcomes

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  December 2019

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