The Perceived Impacts of Arts Education on Children in Military Families



Coffman, Virginia D

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Children in military families face unique challenges that shape their lives and experiences in a variety of ways. Much research has indicated that the arts improve children’s lives, emotional wellbeing, and school performance. This research expands upon current research into the role the arts, conceptualized as a form of play, serve in children’s lives and assesses the impact of arts education specifically on military-affiliated children. Utilizing qualitative data and grounded theory, the study explores the ways in which parental military service affects children in every area of life and how involvement in the arts affects children’s perceptions of their wellbeing. The analysis was developed from emergent codes collected from 14 interviews and two observations. The sample population was chosen through both convenience and snowball sampling. This study determined the ways in which military-affiliated children experience and use the arts in their daily lives—as a way of creating stability, expressing community, and managing emotions.



Arts education, Military children, Military families, Arts participation, Wellbeing, Play