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ERIC Number: EJ1018366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1054-8289
Economic Conditions of Military Families
Hosek, James; MacDermid Wadsworth, Shelley
Future of Children, v23 n2 p41-59 Fall 2013
In this article, the authors found that the economic circumstances of military families are good, certainly much improved compared with even a decade ago. The military context is nonetheless challenging, with long hours, dangerous work, frequent transfers, and stressful absences during deployment. Service members receive relatively high pay and have steady work, but military life can exact a price from their spouses: frequent moves disrupt spouses' employment, and military spouses' wages are lower than those of comparable civilians. Yet the military offers important services to families in the form of noncash benefits. For example, on-base child-care centers are renowned for high-quality care (see the article in this issue by Major Latosha Floyd and Deborah Phillips). Similarly, military dependents receive health care at little or no cost through the TRICARE system, and the military contributes to local school districts to ensure that school-age military children have access to quality education. Despite these noncash benefits, some families, especially large families of junior service members, have trouble making ends meet, just like families in the civilian world. It is also clear that military service comes with unique financial challenges. Over the past decade and longer, policymakers have implemented strategies to minimize these challenges by increasing financial support across the military population. These efforts have met with considerable success. The pay increases of recent years have slowed, and, barring a new outbreak of hostilities, the military will reduce the size of the force in the coming years. In light of these circumstances, policymakers must keep a careful eye on the economic conditions of military families.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. 267 Wallace Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. Tel: 609-258-6979; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A