School transitions among military adolescents: A qualitative study of stress and coping

Catherine P. Bradshaw, May Sudhinaraset, Kristin Mmari, Robert W. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The research on highly mobile military adolescents has produced mixed findings. Whereas early descriptive studies reported that adolescents experiencing multiple residential moves exhibited symptoms of what was termed military family syndrome, more recent quantitative studies have found few negative effects after controlling for prior status. However, most of the extant research has been conducted during peacetime, and thus may not generalize to today's mobile military students, whose parents are facing deployment at increasing rates. The current study used qualitative methods to (a) describe the transition-related stressors experienced by mobile military students; (b) describe the efforts employed to help these students cope with their stress; and (c) identify strategies that schools can use to ease the transition process for mobile military students, as reported through 11 focus groups conducted with military students, their parents, and school staff. The findings suggest that the move-related stressors experienced by mobile military students affected their adjustment to the new school environment. Recommendations for supporting mobile military students are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-105
Number of pages22
JournalSchool Psychology Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 23 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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