Families of Deployed Military Carry Heavy Load01/21/11
FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Families of U.S. military
personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan face a number of
challenges as relationships change and they have to take on more
household responsibilities, new research shows.
The yearlong study of 1,127 military families found that
children of deployed parents are more likely to experience
emotional difficulties and anxiety than other children their age.
The youngsters in the study said they felt misunderstood by
community members, challenged by the increase in household chores,
and found it hard to deal with the deployed parents' mood changes
when they returned home.
Military spouses said they faced a number of major stressors
when their partner was deployed overseas, including a heavier
household workload, changes in marriage roles, and family
communication challenges, according to researchers at the RAND
Corp., a nonprofit research organization.
Caregivers with spouses in the National Guard or Reserves
reported poorer emotional well-being and greater household
challenges than those with spouses in the full-time military.
Good communication between parents and children -- which the
study authors defined as a perception of empathy and understanding
-- was associated with fewer household challenges.
"These findings underscore the experiences of children and spouses when a member of the military goes off to war," lead author and behavioral scientist Anita Chandra said in a RAND news release. "While children and spouses are continuing to handle challenges well overall, it is how children and spouses handle the change in household and family relationships that affects how they cope during periods of deployment."
The U.S. Department of Defense offers
deployment advice for military personnel and their
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