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Public Policy and Administration


William Benet


Several reserachers have identified the challenges faced by military adolescent dependents. However, scholarly literature provides little evidence regarding examples of the impact of military adolescents' transition and adjustment to residing in a multicultural community overseas. A qualitative case study was conducted of 6 former military adolescents between the ages of 18 and 25, regarding their perceptions of the experiences and challenges they encountered while residing in a multicultural overseas community as a military dependent between grades 8-12. Benet's polarities of democracy served as the theoretical framework. All data were inductively coded and subjected to a thematic analysis from which 5 themes emerged. Participants unanimously agreed that the lack of needed information while discussing transition with their parents led to negative experiences. Participants also agreed that they have not been included in policy development regarding military adolescent programs, which negatively impacted their integration into the overseas communities. Overall, the results of this study highlight the challenges this population encounters and indicates that the polarity pairs have not been leveraged well, thereby negatively impacting the participants' overall overseas experience. This study may encourage positive social change by informing Department of Defense policy makers and local installation leaders regarding the enactment of programs that better support military families with adolescent dependents living in an overseas environment. Such policy changes may enhance the experience of dependent military adolescents, encourage the military personnel's future commitment to military service, and support service member retention.

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