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Veterans Affairs Dept. To Study Stress On Military Families

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by goingonhope, Jul 9, 2007.

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  1. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

    Veterans Affairs department to study stress on military families

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    Cell phones, e-mail and instant messaging help link deployed troops with home. But that communication system is a two-way street. "It brings the family along to war," said Tom Schumacher, a state Veterans Affairs official.

    Communication is just one of the issues that can stress military families. Schumacher, director of the state's post-traumatic stress disorder counseling program, wants to learn how the war affects Washington families.

    Researchers will work with others at the University of California, Los Angeles. The university sparked the Washington survey with its study of one military family.

    "The family had three deployments," Schumacher said. "It was a very healthy family when they started; by the end of the third deployment, (family members) were pretty stressed out."

    When the study expanded, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs was able to take over a portion of the research. "It will be a survey of 100 National Guard families," he said. "We hope get 120 kids, from 6 to 12 years old."

    Investigators are looking for families in which a parent has been deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. They also will look at families in which the Guard parent hasn't been deployed to serve as a control group.

    Children can react to a parent's deployment in different ways, depending on age and level of development. Preschoolers may feel confused and may fear other changes in their lives. School-aged children may want more attention.

    The survey is voluntary, but researchers will pay $20 for each family member who qualifies as a study subject. People interested in participating can call a scheduler at 1-800-867-6129.

    Information also will be posted on the department's Web site through the menu's link to "war trauma counseling."

    "I'm calling this a 'needs' study, to see what needs are of National Guard families," Schumacher said. "It will help plan programs in the future. Perhaps we need to bring on specialized providers."

    In Phase 2 of the study, UCLA researchers will look at active-duty military families.

    Source: The Columbian, Serving Clark County, Washington - By Tom Vogt
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  3. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

    Will be interesting to read the results of this study. Certainly there is stress for all concerned during a deployment, though children can be made to feel more secure if parents approach the matter in the correct way. Definitely much more communication with home while deployed than when I first joined 40 years back. However. Personally I feel, the more communication with home the better. Not knowing what's happening on both sides of the equation is a stressor as well.

  4. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    It was interesting to read my own mail I used to send when in a place with no instant communication, ie. phone or internet, which was a lot; reading how my letters changed in content from the beginning of the deployment to the end. I started telling everything, wanting to know everything, where by the end they contained little and asked nothing. Why? Because it hurt more knowing what was going on at home, and sending them even slight inclinations of what I was enduring and feeling their pain return made it even worse again.
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