Military Deployment and Children
Instructor: Date Introduction 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.
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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 institutions play a key role in the growth of a child. Consequently, it takes a substantial time in the life of a growing child. Chandra et al. (2008) posit that constant change in the whole schooling environment can be stressful to a child. Children from military born homesteads are no stranger to deployment predicaments, which normally causes a shift from one school to another. Stress in this case is facilitated by changes in relationship skills and personal behavior.
In most occasions, this leads to behavioral changes in children. Abrupt changes in behavior of a child may make him or her loose self esteem and general confidence in his life. As a result, such a child is highly prone to bullying and even stigmatization from other children. This deteriorates their general performance in class and social life. The deterioration of the child’s performance in class can be seen from their low 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). Some of the deployed children tend to develop anger management problems when they are teased by children in a different school. According to Fiore (2010), these children may develop anger and hatred towards their schoolmates, which may lead to physical confrontations in extreme situations. In order to ease their emotional turmoil and tribulations, they may turn to fists as a means to ease their anger. This is related to emotional adjustment problems (Fiore, 2010). Lack of friends or peers whom they can share and talk to tends to make them bury their problems to themselves.
This can lead to emotional breakdown and depression, as well as elevate psychological levels, which may lead to insanity of the affected children. Researchers have ascertained that children whose parents experience deployment mostly to war torn countries are normally at high risk of experiencing psychological problems. As a case reference in behavioral pediatric suggests that a third of children who have a parent deployed are normally at the risk of attaining psychological disorders (Richardson et al. , 2011).
This arises mostly because of elevated stress to the at-home parent. Lack of stress management services in such situations is critical to the life of a child. Deployment related union separation is also a common phenomenon that affects children who come from military based homesteads. This is because deployment is a source of marital problems in some families. A spouse may have a different opinion of the constant relocation problems arising from constant deployment. This is prevalent where only one parent in the family is in the military.
As a result, the children in such homesteads may develop personality disorders (Engel, Gallagher, & Lyle, 2010). As they mature, their disorders may intensify. This is facilitated by the insecure positions they may have felt when they were younger. As a side effect to this phenomenon, they are likely to develop personality disorders. This creates problems in building relationship in old age (Sheppard, Malatras, & Israel, 2010). Rationale of Proposed Research Military deployment has a significant emotional and behavioral effect on children.
Engel, Gallagher and Lyle (2010) posit that this is a rising problem which needs correction. Their assessment of stress levels in families experiencing deployment problems shows that it is necessary to address this problem. The research also shows that recognizing the problems caused by military deployment is necessary to reduce emotional and behavioral challenges facing children who are unable to handle their parent’s deployment. These children also face academic challenges in school (Engel, Gallagher, & Lyle, 2010).
The rationale of the research is to show the impact of military development on children and demonstrate the need for counseling and stress management services. This is because the stress associated with deployment is in most circumstances characterized by elevated levels of psychosocial morbidity mostly to the affected children . Methodology Sample Population The research will be conducted on children whose parents are active service members in the United States. The children will be classified regionally into South, West, East and Mid-West.
The research will also draw from 2,000 children who will represent all regions. Each region will comprise 500 participants. The sample population will comprise children between three and thirteen years who have experienced at least once instance of parental deployment. The participants will comprise all genders and races within the age group. Measures The research will use records of the children from their mental and health records between 2007 and 2010. These records will be compared with their parent’s deployment records.
The deployment records will provide data such as rank, age, marital status, service and type of deployment. The comparison of children’s health records with their parent’s deployment records will help the researcher identify any instances of behavioral and psychological changes occurring after the parent(s) has been deployed. The research will also monitor the number of behavioral and mental health visits using the International Classification of Diseases code of 1 to 18 used for diagnostic grouping (Gorman & Hilse-Gorman, 2010).
The groupings will comprise behavioral disorders and personality disorders. Additionally, the research will categorize sample data on the level and type of stress disorder and anxiety disorders. Moreover, the research will look at the rate of outpatient health visits made by the child per year during the deployment period. This will help the researcher determine the level of exposure for each deployment aand determine the effect of military deployment on children. Procedures
The materials used for the survey comprise an interview comprising various interview questions to help the researcher identify the behavioral and emotional implications of military deployment on children. The participants will have an option to agree to the interview, which will be conducted on the children in the presence of one or two parents. A psychologist will also be referred during the interview to identify any behavioral and emotional problems affecting the children during deployment.
Additionally, the researcher shall conduct a survey of the children’s records and the parent’s deployment records. Quantitative methods will be used for the research. The independent variable will be military deployment while the dependent variable will be the child’s health. It will collect data such as gender, status, deployment status and rank of the parent. The research will use Gorman and Hilse-Gorman’s (2010) military classifications as Junior Enlisted, Senior Enlisted, Junior Officer, Warrant Officer and Senior Officer. References Chandra, A. Burns, R. , Tanielian, T. , Jaycox, L. , & Scott, M. (2008). Understanding the impact of deployment on children and families: Findings from a pilot study of operational purple camp participants. Center for Military Health Policy Research, WR-566, 1-69. Chartrand, M. , Frank, D. A. , White, L. F. , & Shope, T. R. (2008). Effect of parents’ wartime deployment on the behavior of young children in military. Archives of Pedriatics & Adolescent Medicine, 162(11), 1009-1014. Engel, R. , Gallagher, L. B. , & Lyle, D. S. (2010).