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Factors influencing parental functioning and satisfaction for veteran mothers during civilian transition

APA Citation:

Morgan, N. R., Karre, J. K., Aronson, K. R., McCarthy, K. J., Bleser, J. A., & Perkins, D. F. (2022). Factors influencing parental functioning and satisfaction for veteran mothers during civilian transition. Family Relations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, 71(4), 1554-1574. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12669

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined how a combination of protective factors (e.g., social functioning, social support, resilience, absence of mental health symptoms, health functioning), and risk factors (i.e., number of deployments, traumatic combat exposure) may impact parental functioning (e.g., meeting child’s emotional needs) and parental satisfaction (e.g., closeness) among a sample of Veteran mothers (N = 711). Demographic factors (e.g., pay grade) were also considered. The impact of protective and risk factors on parenting outcomes may vary.


Mental health
Physical health

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches
Air Force
Marine Corps

Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:



Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)


Cross sectional study
Quantitative Study


Morgan, Nicole R., Karre, Jennifer K., Aronson, Keith R., McCarthy, Kimberly J., Bleser, Julia A., Perkins, Daniel F.


Objective Risk and protective factors associated with parental functioning (i.e., meeting child's emotional needs) and satisfaction (i.e., closeness) were examined among post-9/11 veteran mothers during their civilian transition. Background Post–military-separation stressors (e.g., relocation, benefit changes) can strain well-being and familial relationships. Stress, particularly in the presence of unresolved trauma from military-specific risks, can impinge upon parental functioning and satisfaction, negatively influencing child outcomes (e.g., social–emotional, academic, behavioral). Method A prospective cohort was identified from all active duty service members who separated in May–September 2016. Logistic regression analyses of surveys completed by post-9/11 veteran mothers (n = 711) assessed effects of protective (i.e., resilience) and military-specific risk factors (i.e., deployments) on parental functioning and satisfaction. Interactions between protective factors and deployments and combat (patrols and corollaries) were explored. Results Coping characteristics (e.g., healthy behaviors), absence of mental health conditions, and social supports were positively associated with parental functioning and satisfaction. Household financial security was not. Mothers who had deployed reported higher parental functioning and satisfaction. Mothers experiencing combat patrols were less likely to report high parental functioning. Conclusion Malleable protective factors positively influence parenting but do not buffer against combat exposure. Implications Interventions bolstering protective factors for veteran mothers can foster coping, reintegration, and positive child outcomes.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:


Author Affiliation:

Pennsylvania State University (Clearinghouse), NRM
Pennsylvania State University (Clearinghouse), JKK
Pennsylvania State University (Clearinghouse), KRA
Pennsylvania State University (Clearinghouse), KJM
Pennsylvania State University (Clearinghouse), JAB
Pennsylvania State University (Clearinghouse), DFP


parental functioning, satisfaction, veteran mothers, civilian transition, child outcomes

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary


Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF)

REACH Newsletter:

  June 2022

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