Two separate studies about the children of deployed military personnel with dramatically different conclusions.
January 30, 2010 4:21 PM Subscribe
posted by hal_c_on (42 comments total)
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A former colonel
, and lieutenant colonel
team up to show that 56% of kids do well (or even VERY well) when their parents are shipped off to war (again).
Starting with a survey that went out to 34,500 soldiers and ending with a "subsample" that only had a size of 409, the authors postulate that "there is surprisingly no relationship between child deployment stress and the number of previous deployments". Another interesting part of this study shows that children whose parents have NEVER been deployed suffer much more stress than those whose parents have been deployed once, twice, or even three times. The entire report in pdf available here
Dr. Leonard Wong who pleads the case for compulsory national service, provides fashion advice
, and figures out ways to keep soldiers motivated
so they keep fighting
is half the writing team. The other author, Dr. Stephan Gerras, has produced a noteworty op-ed
piece which passively aggressively attacks the Secretary of Defense while primarily discussing college football.
The other study published in Pediatrics,
has markedly different conclusions.
"Using a sample size of 1507 demonstrated a positive association between the number of deployment months and child difficulties, suggesting that the greater total months a parent is deployed (or absent from the home), the stressers of maintaining a healthy home life increase. Children whose parents are deployed had more emotional difficulties compared with national samples."
Besides the disparate results on the same study subject, the reasoning is also contrasting. The Pediatrics-published study concludes that mental health support to the children and caregiver at home may be beneficial. The War College study reasons that "parents may tend to forget or at least not realize that children often mature through hardships." "The study also showed that the best predictors of an adolescent’s overall ability to cope with a life of deployments are a strong nondeployed parent, the child’s belief that America supports the war, a strong family, and the adolescent’s belief that the deployed soldier is making a difference. Of note, the strongest predictor of an adolescent’s ability to cope with a life of deployments is the child’s perception that their deployed parent is making a difference."
The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College lets the public rate the writing and overall quality of these papers on the pages linked.