Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members

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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of military deployment on children, and the roles that risk and protective factors and parenting stress play in emotional symptoms and behaviors exhibited by children while their parents are deployed. A sample of 143 parents (recruited from all branches of the military) who remained at home while their spouses were deployed completed online self-report questionnaires measuring demographic and background information, child internalizing and externalizing behavior, parenting stress, child adaptability, valuing behavior, family cohesion/environment, and parenting behaviors. The sample primarily consisted of mothers (n = 141) and Caucasian individuals (n = ... continued below

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Geddes, Jeffrey D. August 2011.

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  • Geddes, Jeffrey D.

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Description

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of military deployment on children, and the roles that risk and protective factors and parenting stress play in emotional symptoms and behaviors exhibited by children while their parents are deployed. A sample of 143 parents (recruited from all branches of the military) who remained at home while their spouses were deployed completed online self-report questionnaires measuring demographic and background information, child internalizing and externalizing behavior, parenting stress, child adaptability, valuing behavior, family cohesion/environment, and parenting behaviors. The sample primarily consisted of mothers (n = 141) and Caucasian individuals (n = 126), which may limit the generalizability of the findings. Results of the study suggest risk factors including parenting stress, corporal punishment, length of time a parent is deployed, and type of deployment (combat vs. non-combat) were predictive of poorer child outcomes. Protective factors including values consistent behavior, child adaptability, and family cohesion were predictive of better childhood outcomes. Parenting stress served as a mediating variable between the relationship of total risk and child outcomes, while values consistent behavior served as a mediating variable between the relationship of protective factors experienced by children and child outcomes. Military deployments not only impact the service members, but also their families at home. Further study and identification of risk and protective factors faced by military children and families are imperative. Implications of findings are discussed as well as suggestions for future research concerning deployment and impact on military families (e.g. identification and empirical validation of programs to support military families.

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  • August 2011

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  • May 17, 2012, 9:47 p.m.

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  • June 26, 2012, 10:49 a.m.

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Geddes, Jeffrey D. Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members, dissertation, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84206/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .