Very Young Child Well-being in Military Families: A Snapshot.
DeVoe, Ellen R. Kritikos, Tessa M. Emmert-Aronson, Ben. Kantor, Glenda Kaufman. Paris, Ruth.
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.
Published: July 2018
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Vol. 27, No. 12 , p. 2138-2148
Springer International Publishing AG
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212-460-1500 800-SPRINGER
Since the September 11th attacks on the U.S., more than 2 million children have experienced parental deployment during their early years, with potentially lasting impact. When a parent is deployed, a number of factors may affect the well-being of the service member and his/her family. One parental factor—posttraumatic stress disorder or distress—might be particularly powerful in its effect on young children and the family system. We analyzed baseline data from an intervention development project which focused on supporting military families with very young children during post-deployment. The purpose of this research is to understand the relationships between parental mental health status, parenting stress, couple functioning, and young child well-being. The effects of mental health status of home-front and service member parents and the role of couple functioning on parent–child interactions and behavioral problems of young children were examined in a sample of military families during the post-deployment period. Findings suggest that service member posttraumatic stress symptoms are associated with higher parental report of child behavior problems. Higher quality of the couple relationship appears to lessen the impact of parental posttraumatic stress but is not related to parent perceptions of child behavior concerns. Implications for future research with military families are discussed. (Author abstract)
preschool children; military personnel; absent parents; posttraumatic stress disorder; family reunification; behavior problems; marital satisfaction