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21-01-2016 | Original Article | Uitgave 6/2016

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 6/2016

The Impact of Deployment on Parental, Family and Child Adjustment in Military Families

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 6/2016
Auteurs:
Patricia Lester, Hilary Aralis, Maegan Sinclair, Cara Kiff, Kyung-Hee Lee, Sarah Mustillo, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the policies or positions of the U.S. Department of Defense or Government.

Abstract

Since 9/11, military service in the United States has been characterized by wartime deployments and reintegration challenges that contribute to a context of stress for military families. Research indicates the negative impact of wartime deployment on the well being of service members, military spouses, and children. Yet, few studies have considered how parental deployments may affect adjustment in young children and their families. Using deployment records and parent-reported measures from primary caregiving (N = 680) and military (n = 310) parents, we examined the influence of deployment on adjustment in military families with children ages 0–10 years. Greater deployment exposure was related to impaired family functioning and marital instability. Parental depressive and posttraumatic stress symptoms were associated with impairments in social emotional adjustment in young children, increased anxiety in early childhood, and adjustment problems in school-age children. Conversely, parental sensitivity was associated with improved social and emotional outcomes across childhood. These findings provide guidance to developing preventive approaches for military families with young children.

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