Report of the Military Family Life Project: Active Duty Spouse Study

collage of military families

The Military Family Life Project (MFLP) was initiated in 2010 by the Department of Defense (DoD) in order to better understand how military life events affect military families. A total of 6,412 military spouses were surveyed over a three-year period to investigate two research objectives:

  1. Assess the impact of military life events (i.e., Permanent Change of Station [PCS] moves and deployments) on spouse well-being, spouse education and employment, and child well-being; and 
  2. Assess the impact of these spouse and child variables on spouse military support, specifically spouse satisfaction with the military way of life and spouse support to stay on active duty. 

Some of the key findings were that:

  • Frequent relocations and deployments negatively impact spouse employment and the emotional and financial well-being of families. 
  • These factors negatively affect spousal support for service member retention. 
  • A strong connection between children and their deployed parents helps to counter the negative impacts of deployment. 

These finding underscore the importance of current DoD programs designed to support military spouses with employment issues during transitions as well as other programs intended to decrease stress and improve the emotional well-being of military families during deployments and relocations.

For more information, and to view the full report visit, the Military Family Life Project: Active Duty Spouse Study Report webpage at

The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State can help these efforts by providing the right tools and information to professionals serving military families. We have reviewed the evidence base behind over 900 programs. Click here to try our interactive, searchable database: Additionally, our Technical Assistance team stands ready to help you find, implement, and evaluate evidence-based programs and practices. Technical assistance agents may be reached through live chat, phone 1-877-382-9185, or email Monday through Friday from 9 AM until 5 PM ET.