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Children of Deployed Parents Suffer More Mental Problems, Study Says

A new study finds children whose parents are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan are more likely to suffer mental health problems like depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, or behavioral problems. Dr. Alyssa J. Mansfield of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Honolulu conducted the study with former colleagues from the University of North Carolina.

Researchers looked at soldiers’ children ages 5 to 17 with at least one parent in the Army on active duty. Children in the study had their parent deployed an average of 11 months. They study found the longer the deployment, the greater the likelihood of mental health problems (read more).

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Avatar for user 'michaelrdwyer'

michaelrdwyer | July 5, 2011 at 4:36 p.m. ― 5 years, 7 months ago

It's hard to believe that they needed a study to determine that military kids suffer when their parents are deployed. My brothers and sisters and I suffered when Dad was gone for a year at a time even when he wasn't involved in a war. The year he spent in Vietnam (1967) was truly a nightmare. He was never the same and neither were we.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 5, 2011 at 9:52 p.m. ― 5 years, 7 months ago

A former co-worker had been in the Marines, once said, "My advice is you want to go in the military is . . . don't get married." Seems harsh, but he has a strong point.

When I brought this up to a female acquaintance who is married to a guy who was sent to Afghanistan and has children--she got pretty defensive. Needless to say her oldest daughter was going through a lot of problems not only at home but also in high school.

I agree completely with this former co-worker and I think it is pretty selfish of the military people to drag their families through tough times all for the sake of a "career" or "security" or even a confused sense of idealism. Marriages don't last, for the most part, and the children can't live a normal life growing up in a nuclear family.

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