When a parent goes off to war: Exploring the issues faced by adolescents and their families

Kristin Mmari, Kathleen M. Roche, May Sudhinaraset, Robert Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objectives of this study were (1) to explore the consequences of parental deployment for adolescents and their families and (2) to identify potential strategies that may help adolescents cope with a parent's deployment. Eleven focus groups were conducted among adolescents in military families, military parents, and school personnel in military-impacted schools at five military bases. Findings reveal that one of the most prominent sources of stress for families is adjusting and readjusting to new roles and responsibilities. Notably, this stress was primarily felt after the deployed parent returned. School personnel also commented that many teachers and counselors are not prepared to deal with deployment issues among the military students. These findings suggest that parents need to be better prepared to handle the stresses after a deployed parent returns. School personnel also need special training, and military-impacted schools need to offer additional opportunities for students to discuss deployment issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-475
Number of pages21
JournalYouth and Society
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Military families
  • Military-impacted schools
  • Parent-adolescent relationship
  • Parental deployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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