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Parents' Military Deployment Takes Toll on Kids, Study Finds
Date:4/5/2013

were deployed or just recently returned from military service engaged in more binge drinking and used marijuana and other illegal drugs more in the past 30 days than children who were not from military families.

Rates for drinking alcohol in the past 30 days were seven to nine percentage points higher for children of deployed or recently returned parents.

Rates of binge drinking (having five or more drinks of alcohol in a row) were five to eight percentage points higher for the children of deployed parents.

The study showed that military children who were not living with a parent or relative had a risk of binge drinking that was 42 percentage points higher than children from nonmilitary families. In contrast, children with a deployed parent who were still living with a parent had a risk of binge drinking that was about eight percentage points higher than children from nonmilitary families who were living with a parent.

Marijuana use was higher in children of deployed parents, particularly the older students, the study showed. The risk of using this drug was nearly two percentage points higher for sixth graders and nearly five percentage points higher for the 11th graders.

"We worry a lot about the service men and women and we sometimes forget that they are not the only ones put into harm's way by deployment," Arndt said. "Their families are affected too. Our findings suggest we need to provide these families with more community support."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention talks about alcohol and drug use among young people.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of Iowa, news release, March 28, 2013


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