The need to understand the impact of war on military families has never been greater than during the past decade, with more than three million military spouses and children affected by deployments to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Understanding the impact of the recent conflicts on families is a national priority, however, most studies have examined spouses and children individually, rather than concurrently as families. The Department of Defense (DoD) has recently initiated the largest study of military families in US military history (the Millennium Cohort Family Study), which includes dyads of military service members and their spouses (n>10,000). This study includes US military families across the globe with planned follow-up for 21+ years to evaluate the impact of military experiences on families, including both during and after military service time. This review provides a comprehensive description of this landmark study including details on the research objectives, methodology, survey instrument, ancillary data sets, and analytic plans. The Millennium Cohort Family Study offers a unique opportunity to define the challenges that military families experience, and to advance the understanding of protective and vulnerability factors for designing training and treatment programs that will benefit military families today and into the future.
Crum-Cianflone, N. F., Fairbank, J. A., Marmar, C. R., & Schlenger, W. (2014). The millennium cohort family study: A prospective evaluation of the health and well-being of military service members and their families. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 23(3), 320–330. https://doi.org/10.1002/mpr.1446