Social Sciences

Tim Cavell

Tim Cavell, Professor

Department of Psychological Science, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Funding: U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences

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Supporting Students from Military Families

A new study will develop and test a system that school districts can use to offer mentoring to students from military families.

Tim Cavell’s team will research strategies for schools to identify and support students from military families experiencing deployment-related stress. This form of stress puts military-connected students at risk for disruptions in learning, academic performance and social behavior. The delivery model that is developed may enhance how school districts support students affected by deployment-related stress or by military parents struggling to reintegrate into civilian life.

“Military service members and families are known for being highly resilient, but the wear and tear of combat deployment can exceed a family’s capacity to cope,” Cavell said.

Previous studies have shown that school-based mentoring can reduce student absenteeism and school-related misconduct and increase academic performance and peer support. Most school districts are not located on or near military installations, and the school personnel in these districts might not identify, and thus not support, military-connected students in their schools.

Cavell said that to successfully serve military students, school district personnel must dedicate resources to establish a network at each school that connects military parents, school staff, community organizations and local mentoring agencies.