This newsletter describes the challenges faced by military families when a parent is deployed, characteristics of military families, and children's adjustment in military families. Research findings are cited that indicate children in military families generally fare as well or better than their civilian counterparts, are adaptive and resilient, and cope effectively. The cycle of deployment in the military is examined, as well as family tasks and stressors at each stage. The stages include pre-deployment, deployment, sustainment, reunion, and post-deployment. Differences between peace-time and wartime deployment are then considered and the effects of deployment on child caretakers/spouses and on children are explored. Findings from research that examined whether deployment affects rates of child maltreatment are also shared and indicate child maltreatment rates were higher during the times that the soldier-parent was deployed. Protective factors for military families are discussed and a community capacity-building approach for family support systems is described.
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