SHOCKER: Lengthy Deployments Increase Risk of Divorce in Military Families
Apparently, it took a dozen years of war and a study to figure this one out, but yes, lengthy deployments are, in fact, correlated with an increase risk of divorce, according to a new RAND corporation study.
Among couples married before the 9/11 attacks, those that experienced deployment of 12 months to war zones were 28 percent more likely to become divorced within three years of marriage as compared to peers who experienced similar deployment before the wars began.
The study, published in the Journal of Population Economics, found that the divorce risk was lower for couples married after the 9/11 terrorist attacks than for couples married before 9/11. Researchers theorize that couples who married after the 9/11 terrorist attacks were better prepared for the challenges posed by being married in the military than those who married before the conflicts began. This is consistent with the hypothesis that only the couples willing to accept the risks associated with military life went ahead to marry in the post 9/11 era.
According to the RAND corporation study, deployments were particularly hard on the marriages of female service members.
The relationship between the number of months the servicemember spent deployed and the percentage chance of that servicemember going through a subsequent divorce was clear: The longer the period of time spent deployed, the greater the likelihood of divorce.
Couples with children were less likely to divorce than childless couples.
The latest study, conducted by researchers Sebastian Negrusa, Brighita Negrusa and James Hosek, actually contradicts the counterintuitive findings of earlier studies, some of which found that deployment had no significant effect on divorce rates, or even made divorce less likely.
The full study is available for purchase here.