Written by Angela Caban
It is no shock to this country, especially military families, that deployment takes a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. As more and more servicemembers deploy multiple times, the stress is taking a toll on the families including the children. A yearlong study that was sponsored by the National Military Family Association and that was conducted by the RAND Corporation, finds that military youth is experiencing higher than average emotional difficulties and anxiety symptoms compared to the national average. This study has also shown that the numbers double when a parent is deployed multiple times.
So what does this mean for military spouses and families? The answer is quite simple; we must ensure that support services are continued to be offered for all families as well as enforcing new programs to meet these new challenges.
The studies conducted by RAND show that youth and spouses cited the greatest stress on the military family is the absence of the service member at home. Nearly 70% of military teens and tweens who participated in the study report the greatest difficulties of deployment are dealing with life without their deployed parent and helping their non-deployed caregiver (in most instances, mom or dad) cope with life without the deployed parent. Many spouses (62%) in the study and more than half (54%) of the youth also cited that fitting the service member back into their lives at the end of the deployment was equally difficult. (RAND.org)
“After nine years at war, this is a strong reminder that a one-size-fits-all approach to family support does not work,” stated Joyce Raezer, Executive Director for the National Military Family Association. “These findings will help all of us serving military families to evaluate the effectiveness of existing support programs and better target our work in the future.”
To learn more about this study and to view the full report please click here.
For more on Angela Caban, visit her website at www.angelacaban.com.
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