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The Effects of Multiple Deployments on Army Adolescents

Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong, Dr. Stephen J. Gerras.

Brief Synopsis

Multiple deployments have become a way of life for our Soldiers. In Army families, these frequent deployments increase the burden on children who must face the stress and strain of separation and anxiety. The authors take a much-needed, detailed look at the effects of multiple deployments on Army adolescents. The results of this study reinforce some of what we already know concerning deployments and children, but they also reveal some very interesting, counterintuitive findings that challenge the conventional wisdom concerning Army adolescents. This study goes beyond merely explaining the impact 8 years of war is having on the children of our Soldiers; rather, it explores the specific factors that increase or alleviate stress on Army adolescents. The results reveal that Army adolescents, contrary to what many believed, are much more self-aware and resilient. Furthermore, they are capable of understanding the multiple implications of having a parent serve in the all-volunteer Army during a time of war. Army children may experience the anxiety and stress that often surround a parent’s deployment, but results conclude that there are factors that policymakers, leaders, and parents can use to increase a child’s ability to cope with a life of repeated deployments. In this era of persistent conflict, we should carefully consider such findings.

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View other pubs in the following categories:

Military Leadership
War and Society
Military Culture
Retention and Recruitment
United States

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