Military Family: Psychological Effects on the Children
For the record, I am a military wife and my husband is set to deploy to Iraq in two months. He leaves today actually, for some additional training and briefing. We have a two-year old daughter.
A recent study reveals that children of U.S. Veterans who have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq are showing elevated signs of anxiety and many other emotional difficulties. The study, based on a questionnaire and published in the Journal of Developmental and Behaviroal Pediatrics, followed 116 spouses and children of deployed Army personnel. The results of the questionnaire found higher incidences of anxiety, of being worried and crying at a higher rate in military children; about twice the U.S. norm.
The results also found high-levels of stress in the spouses –mostly mothers– left behind. Could this be playing the major role in their kids’ anxiety issues? The researchers seem to think so. They found that spouses who reported having access to support groups reported less stress for themselves and their children.
What Support is Available for the Military Spouse?
I’m glad to say that the study results ends on a high note by giving families insight on how they can ease the separation. Aside from seeking support from church groups, family members and friends, the military has created a site, MilitaryOneSource.com that offers a plethora of help and resources for military families. They offer, among other things:
- Support on the phone available 24/7
- Medical counseling
- Learning materials in the form of webinars, CDs, web links
- Discussion boards where families can log in and ask questions, state concerns towards others who have been through, or are going through, the same experience.
That’s just one of many. Through the site, I found information on summer programs for children, financial help such as getting discounts for daycare, etc. The information here is invaluable to military families. If you’re a military spouse, or if you know someone who is, spread the news about the Military One Source site, as many military families still do not know of existence.