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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1554-1574
Number of pages21
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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