Military Deployment and Children

Topics: Psychology, Military of the United States, Soldier Pages: 6 (1935 words) Published: August 18, 2012
Military Deployment and Children

Military deployment is a complex and demanding process, both to the soldier and to his or her family. It is a moment of psychological change affecting more than 1.85 million children with one or both parents in the military and 1.64 active service members (Chandra, Burns, Tanielian, Jaycox, & Scott, 2008) in the United States deployed for an average of 12-15 months. Children are more affected than any other member of the family. They are usually maladaptive and experience mixed emotions of disorientation, anger, loss, sadness, denial, loneliness and feeling overwhelmed. The children not only sacrifice their personal comfort, but also the love and care of the deployed parent. In addition, they may be required to mature early, become more independent and participate in decision-making (Lamberg, 2004). Children also have to deal with bereavement in case the deployed parent is killed in war, which makes them distracted, unable to sleep and angry. Statement of Problem

Repeated and extended deployment has significant psychological and developmental challenges on the child (Lamberg, 2004). Since school is the second immediate environment for children where they spend most of their time, most of these challenges are exhibited in this environment. For instance, children of deployed parents report lower academic performance, behavioral changes in classroom (such as attacking other students and indiscipline), attendance and task completion during the deployment period (Chandra et al., 2008). These behavioral changes may be caused by underdeveloped relationship skills and poor self-esteem, which increase the child’s vulnerability to bullying, criticism and stigmatization. Moreover, psychological maladaptive children have limited social contact and are unable to form new friendships, while others become rough, easily angered and bullies. Purpose of Research

Emotional adjustments problems are common effects of deployment in children. The purpose of this research is to show that family separation due to deployment of one parent should not be prolonged. This is because if the deployment period is prolonged, the child may develop personality disorders and developmental challenges that may intensify as they grow (Chandra et al., 2008). Background

Deployment is a common phenomenon to military personnel. It is not only complex and taxing to service members, but also to their family. According to Chandra et al. (2008), a child faces significant emotional tribulations during deployment. This is because they keep on deviating with their life events from time to time. In the event, if the parent is deployed to a different region, the children have to leave their friends behind and other daily functions like schooling. It takes a toll on the children as they attempt to settle in the new environment due to deployment of their parents. Chandra et al.’s (2008) study shows that children affected by deployment experience the same level of stress as children who have been affected by divorce. These children are considered to the most affected people in the event of deployment. In nature, children are maladaptive to their area of habitat. This is facilitated by schooling activities, which is a crucial part of every child. In schools, they form friends and powerful associations which are not easy to break without emotional conflicts. In the event that parents are faced with deployment, their children have remarkably little control of the outcome. It is a problem they have to face and bare without tussle. The affected children have no choice but to sacrifice their comfort. According to Chartrand, Frank, White and Shope (2008), the life experiences of children are vital and short lived since they are faced with deployment uncertainties . Every deployment process creates an elevated room for children to have stressful moments. Schools and other learning...
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