The effect of multiple deployments on military families: a cross sectional study of health and wellbeing of partners and children.

Article


McGuire, Annabel C. L., Kanesarajah, Jeeva, Runge, Catherine E., Ireland, Renee, Waller, Michael and Dobson, Annette J.. 2016. "The effect of multiple deployments on military families: a cross sectional study of health and wellbeing of partners and children." Military Medicine: international journal of AMSUS. 181 (4), pp. 319-327. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00310
Article Title

The effect of multiple deployments on military families: a cross sectional study of health and wellbeing of partners and children.

ERA Journal ID40335
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMcGuire, Annabel C. L. (Author), Kanesarajah, Jeeva (Author), Runge, Catherine E. (Author), Ireland, Renee (Author), Waller, Michael (Author) and Dobson, Annette J. (Author)
Journal TitleMilitary Medicine: international journal of AMSUS
Journal Citation181 (4), pp. 319-327
Number of Pages9
Year2016
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0026-4075
1930-613X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00310
Web Address (URL)http://militarymedicine.amsus.org/doi/10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00310
Abstract

This study explored the impact of multiple deployments on the health and wellbeing of the partners (married or de facto) and children of Australian military personnel who have deployed frequently. Permission to contact military partners was sought from a sample of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members. Partners provided data on deployment history, physical health, mental health, and their children's emotions and behaviours. Associations between multiple deployments and health and wellbeing of partners and children were assessed using logistic regression. Data was collected from 1332 ADF partners (response rate 36%) with 1095 children aged between four and 17 years. Almost half (47%) of partners had experienced more than one deployment, mainly to Timor Leste, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There was little evidence of associations between numbers of deployments and the health of the partner. In contrast, more behavioural problems were reported for children who experienced two or more deployments with odds ratios generally greater than two and significant trends with increasing numbers of deployment. While military families who experience multiple deployments may, by selection, be more resilient than those who have fewer deployments, these results suggest that adverse impacts on the children may accrue with increasing parental absences due to deployment.

Keywordsmilitary families; deployment; child wellbeing; mental health; physical health
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420303. Family care
440804. Defence studies
420313. Mental health services
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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