Navigation Links
Study finds that mothers' military deployment affects health of women and teens
Date:4/2/2009

FAIRFAX, Va.Due to regional conflicts across the globe, such as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism, women are being deployed overseas in greater numbers than ever before. Women constitute approximately 16 percent of the 3.5 million members of the U.S. armed forces and 10 percent of present forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although separation of a service member from their family is always a hardship, for mothers of adolescent children, deployment comes at even more of a personal sacrifice. A recent study completed by George Mason University researcher Mona Ternus found that a woman's military deployment affects her health as well as that of her adolescent children.

"War induced separation impacts family life with unique stressors related to the dangerous aspects of deployment," says Ternus, associate professor and director of academic outreach and distance education in Mason's College of Health and Human Services and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. "These military women believe in what they do. They believe in the mission. And what they believe in terms of their commitment and their work is very high. This is very much a personal part of their lives and a personal part of their own self-development that becomes a part of them."

Ternus analyzed responses from 77 women who recently completed a military deployment and who were also mothers of adolescent children aged 10 to 18 years. Participants completed Web-based questionnaires based on their experiences at varying times after return. The majority of respondents were in the Air Force and Army, and more than 60 percent of the women had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Deployment served as a catalyst for health and behavior change of both mothers and their adolescent childrenand the longer the deployment, the greater the effect. Ternus found strong correlations between the number of symptoms women experienced during deploymentsuch as cough, headaches, joint pain, back pain, muscle aches, numbness/tingling, skin rashes, diarrhea, chest pain and difficulty breathingand the number of days deployed.

Making arrangements for child care was one of the most common stressors mentioned by participants. Ternus was surprised to find that, as a result of single parent households or dual-military families in which both parents deployed at the same time, 36 percent of the respondents reported having no primary parent in the home during the time of deployment.

In addition, Ternus found that a longer deployment leads to increased risk behaviors among adolescent children such as non-accidental physical injury, physical fights, incidents involving weapons, cigarette smoking/chewing tobacco, alcohol, illegal drug use, self mutilation, drop in school grades and attempted suicide. While 75 percent of the adolescents exhibited no risk factors prior to deployment according to parental responses, just as many of the children engaged in risk behaviors during and after deployment.

"There are more than 3 million immediate family members of active-duty and reserve personnel, of whom approximately 400,000 are adolescents," says Ternus. "Adolescence is a turbulent period with an increased number of risk behaviors. It follows that separation from the military mother during these potentially dangerous deployments has an impact on the adolescent."

Despite the hardships and personal sacrifice, participants expressed deep satisfaction with, and commitment to, their military work and careers. Ternus, who has been separated from her teenage daughter several times while deployed, empathizes with the women in the study.

"A theme emerged in which the military women expressed a great deal of guilt related to their absence from the home. Mothers commented on missing family events, the effect on caregivers who were supporting the family and the need to be both at work and home," says Ternus. "Many additional factors exacerbate the stresses on the family such as fear of parental death or injury. I am hopeful that my research will help to discover new ways that we can build family relationships even while people fulfill their military obligation, service and commitment to their country."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marjorie Musick
mmusick@gmu.edu
703-993-8781
George Mason University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... certification process to promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, ... March 22 – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the ... national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps ... provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting ... Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the ... and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Abilene, Texas (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... publication this week that explains one of the most popular and least understood books ... seems like cryptic and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published ... all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, ... formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics ... new brand, which included the unveiling of new signage ... , as well as at a few other company-owned ... new brand to patients, some of whom will begin ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion ... notable awards. Ranked as number one in the South Florida ... time in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy ... Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by SFBJ ... Set to receive his award in ...
(Date:9/22/2017)...  As the latest Obamacare repeal effort moves is ... (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) medical device ... industry is in an odd place.  The industry wants ... tax on medical device sales passed along with the ... increased visits and hospital customers with the funding to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: