When Military Moms & Dads Go Overseas, Teens Often Pay the Biggest Price

It’s rough on military families when a parent is deployed. The remaining parent has to carry the weight for both mom and dad at home, plus the constant worry that your spouse might never make it home.

It’s tough on the kids that miss mom or dad too, and a new study suggests that it’s particularly difficult for teens. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, teens “living in households where military family members are deployed overseas multiple times are more likely to think about committing suicide.” They also found that these families had more mental health issues in general.

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Because there’s not enough to worry about during a deployments.

These increases apply specifically to deployments, not just being an active duty military family.

When asked if they had felt “sad or hopeless some time in the past year,” 29 percent of teens said they had, but the rate jumped to 35 percent for those with a close family member that had been deployed just once in the last 10 years. For kids who’d been through multiple deployments, the rate went up again to 37 percent.

Sucks! I can only imagine how hard it is for teens to be missing mom or dad at home while they’re off serving their country. And they’re more aware of the risks involved -- little kids are more likely to believe that their parents are invincible. Add in the stressors of being in a single-parent household, and the results of this study aren’t exactly surprising.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to military families going through deployment with friendship and encouragement -- especially if they have teens. They deserve all the support they can get.

What ways have you seen deployment affect families at home?

 

Image via Paul De Los Reyes/Flickr

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