The Application of a Self-Labeling Approach among Military-Connected Adolescents in a Public School Setting

handsw 2019-08 coverThe contextual factors and individual responses to the labeling of military-connected adolescents as “being in a military family” is an understudied yet important phenomenon. Minimal research construes the experience of being in a military family as a label applied to military-connected populations by people in society. However, social environmental factors associated with school setting among military-connected adolescents being in a military family have common components to the process of self-labeling.

A recent issue of the journal Health & Social Work, co-published by NASW Press and Oxford University Press, features an article that seeks to explore the concept and application of self-labeling by (a) providing a literature review of self-labeling among military-connected adolescents and (b) relying on modified labeling theory to identify any consistencies or potential nuances. The analysis of the process is strictly hypothetical, but could help to account for widely varying responses, sequence of events, and underlying reasons for the behaviors among some military-connected adolescents identified in the literature review and in light of the U.S. protracted military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The authors conclude the article by highlighting the need for future research to assess the adequacy of this self-labeling framework to ensure the healthy development of military-connected youths.

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