The effect of deployment frequencies on the military divorce rate
Arenstein, Stacy J.
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The primary goal of this research is to investigate whether the length and frequency of deployments affect the likelihood of divorce. The study uses data from the Contingency Tracking System (CTS) and the Active Duty Military Personnel file. The sample includes all active duty Navy and Marine Corps members from 2000 to 2009. Three models of divorce are estimated, each with a different control for the stress of deployment on the family: length of deployment, number of deployments, and a combination of both. The results suggest that in the general active duty population, the frequency of deployments instead of the length of deployments induces the greatest level of marital conflict. In addition to investigating the divorce effects for the entire population of Navy and Marine Corps personnel, the study also focuses attention on a selected sample of individuals with complete marital and deployment histories-this group tends to be younger and at the early stage of marriage. For this group, the number of days deployed was a positive and significant predictor of divorce rates for both Navy and Marine Corps enlistees. Additionally, the study shows that the length of the deployment also induced a significant amount of marital conflict.
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