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J Clin Psychol. 2008 Aug;64(8):984-92. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20520.

Psychological adjustment and treatment of children and families with parents deployed in military combat.

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  • 1California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University, San Diego, CA 92131-1799, USA. alincoln@alliant.edu


The effects of the military deployment of parent-soldiers on children and families need to be understood in the context of military culture as well as from developmental risk for maladjustment. Although research addressing such effects is limited in both scope and certainty, we can identify several key factors that relate to psychological risk, adjustment, and outcome. Most children are resilient to the effects of deployment of at least one of their parents, but children with preexisting psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression, may be particularly vulnerable, as well as children with specific risk factors, such as child abuse, family violence, or parental substance abuse. A series of case vignettes illustrate the psychological adjustment and treatment implications for children with parents deployed in support of military combat operations.

(c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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