When a parent goes to war, families are deeply affected. Young children may be especially vulnerable to adverse outcomes, because of their emotional dependence on adults and their developing brains’ susceptibility to high levels of stress. Nearly half-a-million children younger than six have an active-duty parent—and some have two.
Just as we properly give attention to the needs of returning combat veterans, we also need to attend to the implications of their war experience for their children. This research brief, adapted from a comprehensive review by Child Trends of the scientific literature, examines the special circumstances that characterize the lives of children in military families, and highlights both what we know and don’t know about how military life affects their well-being.
Source: Child Trends