While a caregiver's military status per se is not a risk factor for children's adjustment, deployment is a signifi cant family stressor, which places children at risk for behavior and emotional problems. We hypothesize that deployment (i.e. separation from spouse and child(ren), exposure to combat, reintegration, and further deployment) may impair parenting by infl uencing parents' emotion regulation capacities. We report baseline data from the After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools study, an NIH-funded effectiveness study of a parenting program for Reserve component families. Data were gathered from N = 89 military and civilian parents in families where a parent had deployed to the current confl icts. Parents completed self-report measures of emotion regulation, and parenting. On average, deployed individuals (N = 52) reported more diffi culties in emotion regulation than civilian parents. Across gender, mothers reported more diffi culties than fathers with deployed mothers reporting the most diffi culties. Emotion regulation explained a signifi cant proportion of the variance in parenting practices, and associations of deployment to parenting and emotion regulation approached signifi cance in a regression analysis. Results are discussed in the context of the challenges facing deployed parents-particularly mothers-and the potential for programs targeting parenting in military families experiencing deployment.
- ADAPT (after deployment, adaptive parenting tools)
- Child adjustment
- Emotion regulation
- Military families
- Parental adjustment