Privacy Management in the Military Family during Deployment: Adolescents’ Perspectives

Jennifer S. Owlett, K. Andrew R. Richards, Steven R. Wilson, J. D. DeFreese, Felicia Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines military adolescents’ experiences of managing private information within their families during a parental deployment. Thirty-eight adolescents were interviewed about how they and their families managed private information across the deployment cycle. Our interviewees suggested that when a deployment occurs: (a) family members should limit the information that they share with the deployed parent about events at home, (b) children should be cautious when talking to the at-home parent about the deployment situation, and (c) parents should filter some deployment-related information from their children. We explore concrete ways these rules are enacted as well as factors (e.g., dialectical tensions, motivations, salient emotions, and rule acquisition) that can shape how these rules are applied. Our analyses also illuminate how boundary turbulence can influence how youth make decisions about sharing private information. Future research should continue to explore deployment with specific attention to how privacy rules change during reintegration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Family Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication


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