*Direct correspondence to Glen H. Elder, Jr., Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin St., University Square, CB #8120, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 〈firstname.lastname@example.org〉. Corresponding author will share all data and coding information with those wishing to replicate the study. An initial draft of this article was presented at the 2007 Conference on Military Service, Social (Dis)Advantage, and the Life Course, chaired by Janet Wilmoth and Andrew London, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, October 5, 2007. The authors are indebted to David Segal, as well as the Life Course Workgroup, Carolina Population Center, Chapel Hill, for valuable commentary on the article. Data were obtained from Add Health, a program designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by Grant PO1-HD031921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the U.S. Army Research Institute (Contract W91WAW-07-C-0049) and from NICHD to Glen H. Elder, Jr. and Michael J. Shanahan through their subproject in the Add Health Wave IV Program Project. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance with the Wave IV project design. Partial support for Dr. Brown's work was provided by NIH Grant T32 AG00029 at the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.
Pathways to the All-Volunteer Military*
Article first published online: 6 APR 2010
© 2010 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 91, Issue 2, pages 455–475, June 2010
How to Cite
Elder, G. H., Wang, L., Spence, N. J., Adkins, D. E. and Brown, T. H. (2010), Pathways to the All-Volunteer Military. Social Science Quarterly, 91: 455–475. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00702.x
- Issue published online: 6 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 6 APR 2010
Objectives. The present study investigates the role of a disadvantaged background, the lack of social connectedness, and behavioral problems in channeling young men to the opportunities of the all-volunteer military instead of to college or the labor market.
Methods. Data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States are employed. The analytic sample consists of 6,938 white, black, and other males.
Results. The greatest likelihood of military service versus college or the labor force occurs when young men of at least modest ability come from disadvantaged circumstances, experience minimal connectedness to others, and report a history of adolescent fighting.
Discussion. Findings highlight the value of access to post high school education and worklife opportunities as a military service incentive for less advantaged young men in the all-volunteer era.