Strengthening army families. A family life cycle stage perspective

Hamilton I. McCubbin, Yoav Lavee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Armed Forces have made a commitment to strengthening families in an effort to reduce the risk for families and to facilitate family adaptation to the strains and hardships of military life. However, research on enlisted families needed to guide the development of family programs is limited. Assuming critical family strengths may be observed in the context of family transitions, this study of 1,000 Army families faced with the crisis of family relocation to West Germany revealed the importance of Stressors and strains, family and personal strengths, and community supports - which varied across stages of the family life cycle. The findings highlight the importance of developing family programs tailored to meet the needs of families at the couple, preschool and schoolage, adolescent and launching, and empty nest stages of the family life cycle. Specific family strengths and community supports relative to family life cycle stages are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by: the Family Stress, Coping, and Health Project, the Graduate School, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Minnesota; and The Army Research Institute. The authors thank Anne Thompson, Associate Director, Family Stress, Coping, and Health Project, and Tracy Betzig for their assistance.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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