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Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2012;14(3):189-96.

Perception of change and burden in children of national guard troops deployed as part of the global war on terror.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, USA.


Changes in relationships, roles, and dynamics associated with deployment of troops to the Global War on Terror can create challenges for their families as non-deployed spouses and their children take on new responsibilities. Children, aged 6 to 18 years, of deployed National Guard troops were assessed to determine the children's perceptions about how their father's deployment would or did change them and their family, the burden the children experienced in relation to helping their mothers, and child- and parent-reported emotional and behavioral symptoms in the children. Endorsement of personal change was associated with psychological health. During deployment, recognizing personal change was associated with less perceived burden while perceived change in the family was associated with more perceived burden. In general, increased perception of burden was associated with increased psychological symptoms and problems. The children of deployed service personnel may experience burdens and challenges in relation to the changes associated with the circumstances of deployment. Helping children prepare for and manage changes in relationships, roles, rules, and routines may lessen adverse reactions to changes in the environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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