Military kids struggle when parents are deployed, new study finds

 
 

By Rita Colorito

Contributor
 
Helpful Links

Currently more than 130,000 military kids have a mother or father deployed in wartime, according to the National Military Family Association. If you're a military family or if you want to help, check out these local and national resources:

  • State of Illinois' Operation Homefront has a special section on military families and kids
  • National Military Family Association
  • Operation: Military Kids. A program of the U.S. Army, www.operationmilitarykids.org, works with communities to offer support programs to families dealing with deployment.
  • Zero to Three a national non-profit offers several programs for military families, including a Coming Together Around Military Families free e-newsletter.
  • Sesame Street Workshop has a partnership with the USO to make available a DVD series, "Talk, Listen, Connect for Military Families," geared at kids age 2 to 5 to deal with deployment issues.

We know all about the mental health dangers facing troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. But children suffer, too, when their parents are deployed.

A nationwide retrospective study of more than 640,000 children age 3 to 8 found that mental and behavioral health visits increased 11 percent in children when a military parent deployed; behavioral disorders increased 19 percent and stress disorders 18 percent.

Related: When parents go to war, families pay a price: Two weeks with the 909th Forward Surgical Team

Rates for these disorders especially increased in older children and children with military fathers and of married military parents. More than 2 million U.S. children have been affected directly by a parent's military deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, with 40 percent of these children younger than 5 years old, finds the report by the Department of Pediatrics Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

Helpful Links

Currently more than 130,000 military kids have a mother or father deployed in wartime, according to the National Military Family Association. If you're a military family or if you want to help, check out these local and national resources:

  • State of Illinois' Operation Homefront has a special section on military families and kids
  • National Military Family Association
  • Operation: Military Kids. A program of the U.S. Army, www.operationmilitarykids.org, works with communities to offer support programs to families dealing with deployment.
  • Zero to Three a national non-profit offers several programs for military families, including a Coming Together Around Military Families free e-newsletter.
  • Sesame Street Workshop has a partnership with the USO to make available a DVD series, "Talk, Listen, Connect for Military Families," geared at kids age 2 to 5 to deal with deployment issues.
 
 
 







 
 
 
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