Navigation Links
Children of combat-deployed parents show increased worries, even after parent returns
Date:4/8/2010

The current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in extended and repeated combat-related deployments of U.S. military service members. While much has been reported about the problems, both physical and psychological, many bring back with them, new research out of UCLA shows that the family back home can have issues as well.

The suddenly single parents left at home and their children must quickly adjust to altered family roles and the stress of having a loved one in a distant and dangerous land, in addition to dealing with potential psychological or physical health problems the active-duty parent may have upon their return.

Reporting in the April edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCLA assistant professor of psychiatry Dr. Patricia Lester and her colleagues found that it is the number and length of repeated deployments that cause higher levels of anxiety in children and that this anxiety persists even after the deployed parent returns home.

Second, they found that the level of anxiety children experience can be predicted by the amount of psychological distress shown by both the active-duty parent and the at-home parent.

Lester and her colleagues studied 171 families in which either the mother or father was on active duty, currently deployed or recently returned from serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Of the sample, the active-duty parent had, on average, been deployed more than twice and had been away from home for 16 months.

The researchers found that approximately one-third of the children in these families had increased symptoms of anxiety. Strikingly, the anxiety remained even after the deployed parent returned home.

"It's known that, in general, a child's level of distress is linked to parental distress," Lester said. "Here, we found that approximately one-third of the at-home parents and almost 40 percent of the recently returned deployed parents showed elevations in anxiety and depression.

"We also found that the at-home parent showed higher levels of anxiety when their spouse was deployed. But the two key markers for anxiety in the child were the distress levels of both parents and the number of months a parent had been deployed during the child's lifetime."

Interestingly, the study suggests that school-aged boys and girls behave differently during and after a parent's deployment. Girls showed an increase in acting out and disruptive behavior when the parent was deployed, while boys appeared to have more difficulties after the deployed parent returned.

"For the boys, this may be related to reduced autonomy and increased structure in the family life upon the return of the deployed parent," Lester said.

Notably, the children also showed indices of resilience, and their experiences of other types of emotional and behavioral problems were comparable to what is seen normally within any general community of kids.

Lester noted that the military demographic in the U.S. has changed in the past several decades to include a much larger proportion of service members with families. She said planning is needed for extended military operations to take into account the impact on family members.

"These findings suggest that there is a cumulative wear and tear upon the military family from multiple deployments during wartime," she said.

Lester and her colleagues have developed a program to help such military families. Called FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress), the program provides both parents and children customized training that addresses the impact of wartime deployment on families and helps them learn very specific communication and problem-solving skills to address these challenges.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Wheeler
mwheeler@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2265
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Childrens Hospital Surgeon Receives Prestigious Paul Tessier Medal
2. Kaiser Permanente Gives $5 Million to Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta
3. Sebastian Ferrero Foundation and Shands HealthCare Have Selected Sg2 to Conduct a Needs Assessment for a Gainesville-Based Childrens Hospital
4. NHLBI funds preclinical tests on devices for infants and children with congenital heart defects
5. Children's Health Insurance Program Helping Families Get Through Tough Times
6. UM School of Medicine scientists find new malaria vaccine is safe and protective in children
7. Save the Children Supplies 30,000 Haitian Children and Families with Rice at Sites in Marissant and Tabarre, Will Continue for Two Weeks
8. Eighth Annual Give Kids A Smile Day Provides Free Dental Care to Children
9. Human Rights Denied: Obama Leaves 75 Million Children Behind
10. ChildRC.com Provides Useful Financial Resources for Families of Children with Cerebral Palsy
11. Children Likelier to See Dentist if Parents Go Too
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The Justin Veatch Fund announced Thursday ... recommending the film Whispering Spirits and its discussion guide for use by ... education tool in the war against teen drug abuse. NCADD is the oldest ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... ... Mediaplanet today announces distribution of the latest edition of “Transplants,” a cross-platform ... an organ donor for the 123,000 people in the United States who are currently ... to 8 saves through organ donation and enhance many others through tissue donation, however ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... "I had a terrible ... from Winchester, Va. "I thought that if the nebulizer had a more child-friendly design, ... fearing them." , He developed the patent-pending NEBY to avoid the need to deliver ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Florida Hospital Tampa ... Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the leading authority in hyperbaric medicine. This accreditation identifies ... few hospitals and facilities have earned this distinction. This is the second time ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... to announce that “Natural Language Processing–Enabled and Conventional Data Capture Methods for Input ... JMIR Medical Informatics . , Results of the comparative usability study demonstrate that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) has been recognized ... Top Workplaces National Standard. To learn more about ... ... Inc.) ... survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a research firm specializing in organizational ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... report analyzes the worldwide markets for Endodontic Supplies in US$ Thousand. The report ... Japan , Europe , Asia-Pacific ... Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 through 2022. Also, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016   TriNetX ... Nationwide Children,s Hospital signed a membership ... accelerate the development of new cures. ... representing over 57 million patients globally, biopharmaceutical companies ... together to improve protocol design, site selection, patient ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: