This study examined deployment effects in children and spouses of National Guard troops using a longitudinal design to assess 18 children (ages 6 to 17 years) and 13 nondeployed spouses before, during, and after deployment. Both self- and parent reports revealed that children of deployed service personnel experienced emotional and behavioral symptoms during the deployment of their fathers relative to pre- and post-deployment. The children's worry and uncertainty, along with aspects of family interactions, may give rise to ambiguous loss associated with deployment in military families.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center and the Terrorism and Disaster Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, a partner in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The authors appreciate the assistance of the Oklahoma National Guard in providing insight regarding the process of deployment and in recruiting the sample. They also appreciate the children and spouses who participated in the study.
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