March 10, 2010
Two recent studies have highlighted the importance of strong support systems, particularly for adolescent children. I wrote about these studies today in the American Forces Press Service article, “Support Helps Children Cope With Deployments.”
Anita Chandra, a behavioral scientist at Rand Corp., and Leonard Wong, a research professor from the Army War College, explained the findings of these studies during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee yesterday.
The two studies focused on military children ages 11 to 17 and both showed that children with a strong non-deployed parent or caregiver and a solid support system have a better ability to cope with deployments, Chandra and Wong told legislators.
“We had a very strong relationship between the caregiver’s mental health and their ability to cope as well as the ability for their children to handle some of the deployment stressors,” said Chandra, describing the findings of the study “Children on the Homefront: The Experiences of Children From Military Families.”
Wong reported that he also found a strong connection between family strength and children’s ability to cope with deployment in the Army study, “The Effects of Multiple Deployments on Army Adolescents.”
Wong found that the No. 1 factor in mitigating deployment stress was a child’s participation in activities, such as sports, followed by a strong family foundation.
For more on these studies, read my article, “Support Helps Children Cope With Deployments.”