In a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable on Jan. 28, Drs. Leonard Wong and Stephen Gerras from the U.S. Army War College discussed their findings from a recently completed study focusing on the impact of multiple deployments on Army adolescents.
Despite the increased attention and seemingly endless resources directed at children in deployed families, there has been very little research examining the effects of multiple deployments on children. One of those effects highlighted was increased stress.
“When we talk about stress during a deployment, we’re talking about anxiety, said Wong. “We’re talking about worry. We’re talking about having trouble sleeping at night — ‘I feel nervous, I have troubling thoughts.’”
The first phase, collected through an online survey, evaluated the perspectives of over 2,000 soldiers, 700 spouses, and 500 Army children between 11 and 17. The second phase collected the views of over 100 Army adolescents through individual interviews at 8 Army installations throughout the U.S.
The study found that strong families—to include a non-deployed spouse who coped well with deployments—as well as ample activities such as sports to keep Army youngsters busy serve to reduce stress levels of Army adolescents during a deployment.
In addition, the study also found that the attitudes of Army children play a role in dealing with deployment stress and coping with a life of deployments. Children who believed that soldiers are making a difference in the world and that the American public supported the war were significantly more likely to report that they were coping better with deployments.
LISTEN to the interview.
To read the transcript click here.
To read the full study, visit the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute website.