Risk and Resilience in Military Families Experiencing Deployment: The Role of the Family Attachment Network
This chapter presents a family attachment network model to describe the adaptation of military families during the stress of deployment and their adjustment during the reintegration process. The family attachment network consists of multiple relationships existing at multiple system levels (e.g., individual, dyadic, subsystem, and system-wide interaction patterns), each of which has rules and attributes that are distinct and do not exist at other levels, yet are inextricably intertwined with other levels and the larger system. Similarly, within the family system, each attachment relationship is unique, such that a child’s attachment behaviors toward different caregivers can vary, siblings can demonstrate different attachment strategies with the same caregiver, and parent child attachment relationships often diverge from spousal attachment patterns. A central assumption of the proposed model is that attachment relationships and family systems are fundamental contexts for risk and resilience between military members and their families during the deployment cycle.