Date of this Version
Rosheim, K.J. (2015). Exploring deployment and resilience through the experiences of Army National Guard youth. (Master's thesis). University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.
The Global War on Terror utilized Army National Guard soldiers at unprecedented rates, drastically changing their reserve role and the lifestyle of their families. This qualitative study explored what the adolescent children of Army National Guard soldiers experienced during the deployment of a parent and how they conceptualized and demonstrated resilience. Through individual interviews with nine participants, who collectively have experienced over 17 years of deployment during adolescence, and email survey results of their primary caregivers, the following three themes emerged to capture the essence of deployment for Army National Guard youth. Deployment can be viewed as “a mixed bag” as it brings added complexity to adolescent relationships, functioning, emotional expression, and development. Adolescents feel that “nobody understands,” showing how the context of a deployment, including the specific circumstances, an adolescent’s surrounding environment, and interactions with others, serve to either help or hinder adolescent functioning. Finally, adolescents relate an attitude of, “We can do this!” demonstrating how they actively construct meaning from deployment; it becomes that which adolescents make it to be in their own minds and understandings. The results suggest that families, military service providers, educators, and community members can support Army National Guard adolescents during deployment by helping simplify their lives, being part of a supportive context, and assisting youth in constructing value from the experience. Additionally, understanding how to approach youth during deployment builds trust and qualifies others to be supportive in the eyes of Army National Guard adolescents.
Adviser: Yan Xia