School Climate, Deployment, and Mental Health Among Students in Military-Connected Schools

Kris Tunac De Pedro, Ron Avi Astor, Tamika D. Gilreath, Rami Benbenishty, Ruth Berkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has found that when compared with civilian students, military-connected students in the United States have more negative mental health outcomes, stemming from the stress of military life events (i.e., deployment). To date, studies on military-connected youth have not examined the role of protective factors within the school environment, such as school climate, in the mental health and well-being of military-connected adolescents. Given this gap in the research on military adolescents, this study draws from a large sample of military and non-military secondary adolescents in military-connected schools (N = 14,943) and examines associations between school climate, military connection, deployment, and mental health. Findings show that multiple components of school climate are associated with a lower likelihood of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation and increased likelihood of well-being among students in military-connected schools, after controlling for student demographics, military connection, and deployments. The authors conclude with a discussion of school climate interventions for military-connected youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-115
Number of pages23
JournalYouth and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was partially supported by the Department of Defense Education Activity Grant HE 1254-10-1-0041.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.


  • adolescents
  • mental health
  • military-connected youth
  • school climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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