Date Presented 04/20/2023

The performance patterns of military life place military-connected children at risk. This poster will highlight the results of a systematic review that explored interventions aimed at building resilience among military-connected children.

Primary Author and Speaker: Colleen Sunderlin

Additional Authors and Speakers: Alexandra Drake, Emma Ormsby, Haley Harrington

INTRODUCTION: There are 1.75 million children with active duty parents in the United States. The average move time for military families is between 2 to 4 years; children can transition between schools up to 9 times by the time they reach the age of 18. The four significant stressors for military children are relocation, family separation, adaptation to danger, and the uniqueness of military culture. Higher rates of mental health disorders and increased health care use among military family members indicate a need for resources that support these families and help build resilience.

PURPOSE & DESIGN: This systematic review aimed to examine the existing research on interventions that build resilience in military-connected children.

METHODS: Four databases were searched for research articles published between 2012 and 2022. Titles and abstracts of one hundred articles were screened, thirty-five were retrieved for a full review, and three articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final evaluation. Researchers each reviewed and appraised the quality and risk of bias for one article and collaborated upon completion of the review process.

RESULTS: Three interventions were highlighted in the selected research articles; staying strong with schools, tell me a story, and human-animal interaction. Outcomes indicated that these interventions could aid in building the resilience of military-connected children.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review suggests that the interventions found through the study can be effective for building resilience in military-connected children. School-based occupational therapists can employ these interventions in a classroom setting, a 3-to-1 program, and a response to the intervention program.


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The School Superintendents Association. (2019). Fact sheet on the military child. AASA.