September 2nd, 2009
05:45 PM ET

Parents' deployment puts kids at high risk for problems

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/09/02/military.kids.stress/art.soldier.return.gi.jpg caption="The study concludes there's a greater chance of family problems upon a military parent's return."]
Adam Levine
CNN Pentagon Supervising Producer

A third of military children surveyed who have a parent deployed in a war zone are at "high risk" for psychological problems, according to a new study by military doctors and researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, surveyed military spouses of deployed Army soldiers with school-age children, aged 5 to 12. The questionnaire appraised the strain on the family of dealing with a parent deployed to the war zone.

Results found that stress levels were high for children and spouses of deployed troops but also that support networks from military to religious helped mitigate the problems.

The number of children found to be high-risk is more than 2½ times the national level and higher than historical military samples.

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Filed under: War on Terror
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Diane McKeel

    Leaving a war without a win makes it even harder – ask those whose dads came home from Vietnam or did not come home.
    We need to finish what we promised Afghanistan when we correctly with American approval went in for – for them as well as our soldiers and their families.

    September 2, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  2. Kornelia Strong

    The story and the study is good information, but it is also like a drop in the bucket. We served a total of 37 years in the military. We have three daughters ages 36, 31 and 16. They each have stories to tell about their dad, and his (our) service. My husband, a front-line medic, served in Iraq from 2003-2004. I was a member of our family support group during that time. I personally experienced the pain, and the suffering that our families, and our soldiers endured. But we don't talk about it- our pride prohibits us from doing so. We suffer in silence, like so many others. We make the ultimate sacrifices and reap ultimate disregards. Why do we do this you may ask? Because we are another breed of American's. We are warrior's wives, and I look forward to the day when all our men and woman are home safe, so that I can say what I know. In the mean time, our soldiers and our military families must have all the support that they need, now. Special care and consideration must be given to those who don't reach out for help. It is important to remember that thousands of military families are scattered all over the country. They are without the support of their extended families, etc.. We must take better care of one of America's most precious resource: The American soldier and his family, (Fisher House).

    Best wishes,

    Kornelia Strong
    a soldiers wife, retired

    September 2, 2009 at 10:48 pm |