Numbers from a new RAND Corp. study confirm that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on a vast number of Army spouses. The report, “Today’s Army Spouse Panel Survey Results: Impact of COVID-19, August 2020 to May 2021,” was published last week.

Key findings include:

  • Most spouses reported that the pandemic affected their family life, from canceled vacations (70%) to having a special needs child lose access to services (12%).
  • Most spouses with children experienced a change in child care, and 40% of those working said that they had to quit their job or reduce work hours because of child care changes.
  • Those reporting the highest level of financial strain were unemployed and spouses of enlisted soldiers.
  • Household financial strain decreased over time.

The RAND data gives a peek into specific issues facing Army families, but it seems likely that spouses in other services – and civilian families – faced similar concerns, as Military Times reported.

Army photo by Leanne Thomas