The impact of fathers' military deployment on child adjustment. The support needs of primary school children and their families separated during active military service: A pilot study

Pexton, S., Farrants, J. & Yule, W. (2017). The impact of fathers' military deployment on child adjustment. The support needs of primary school children and their families separated during active military service: A pilot study. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, doi: 10.1177/1359104517724494

[img]
Preview
Text - Accepted Version
Download (403kB) | Preview

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although direct exposure to war-related trauma negatively impacts children's psychological well-being, little is known about this impact within the context of parental military deployment to a combat zone and 'indirect' experience of the effects of armed conflict. This study investigates the impact of father's military deployment to Afghanistan on child well-being in primary schoolchildren and compares measures of adjustment with a matched group of children with fathers deployed on military training (non-combat) deployment.

METHOD: Data were collected within primary schools in 2011-2012 from 52 children aged 8-11 years with fathers deploying to Afghanistan ( n = 26) and fathers deploying on military training ( n = 26) via self-completion of questionnaires assessing symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress and levels of self-esteem. Data were collected in both groups, at pre-, mid- and post-parental deployment. Class teachers and parents (non-deployed) completed a measure of child behaviour and parents completed a measure of parenting stress and general health.

RESULTS: Unexpectedly child adjustment difficulties were not significantly raised in children whose parents deployed to Afghanistan. Ratings of behavioural difficulties and depression were low in both groups. However, clinically elevated levels of anxiety and stress symptoms were reported by both groups of children at each stage of deployment. No associations between parental stress, parental mental health and child adjustment were found.

CONCLUSION: High levels of children's anxiety and stress reported during fathers' active military service warrant further investigation. Implications for school and health monitoring and CAMHS community liaison work are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Pexton, S., Farrants, J. & Yule, W., The impact of fathers' military deployment on child adjustment. The support needs of primary school children and their families separated during active military service: A pilot study. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Copyright © 2017 the authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18329

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics