Families and the military

Our research expertise

The unique demands of military service, including operational deployments and the frequent separations from family, can significantly disrupt family life for members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Mobility is a fact of life for ADF members and this can present significant challenges for their families in negotiating transitions in schooling, child care and partner employment.

Little is known about the health and wellbeing of the families of currently serving and ex-serving Defence members.  There is, however, growing evidence that military service can have long term effects on the families of Defence members both while they are in the military and after they have left. In turn, the wellbeing of families can also have important implications for the health and wellbeing of current and former Defence members. AIFS has developed a strong understanding of the issues affecting military families through its research for both the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

AIFS research in the area focuses on the:

  • role of family in supporting and rehabilitating seriously wounded, injured or ill Defence members
  • physical and mental health of serving and ex-serving Defence members
  • wellbeing of the families of serving and ex-serving Defence members.

Current projects

Family Wellbeing Study
This project examines the impact of military service on the mental, physical and social health of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.


Kelly Hand
Deputy Director, Research

Stewart Muir
Research Fellow

More information

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