Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Absent Military Parents Result in Higher Child Maltreatment Statistics

This news story came as no surprise. An absent parent generally increases stress and anxiety on the lone parent attemting to rear the household. The study was funded by the US Army and reported at Forbes.

""The practical implication is that child maltreatment incidents are much more likely to occur during soldier deployments than during other times, and this really underlines the necessity of formal and informal support for parents who are going through this," said Deborah A. Gibbs, lead author of the study and a senior analyst with the Children and Families Program at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C. "Our findings really put a number on the extent of the problem and suggest the areas in which supports are most necessary.

Although there is not a long history of research in this field, previous studies have found that children of parents in the U.S. military serving in Iraq and elsewhere have higher blood pressure, heart rates and stress levels than other youngsters, and that children from military families are twice as likely to die from severe abuse as other children are.
Gibbs and her colleagues looked at confirmed incidents of child maltreatment by a parent in 1,771 families of enlisted U.S. Army soldiers who had been deployed to combat at least once between September 2001 and December 2004."

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