Advocacy and Awareness
Objective data on the effects of military deployment on child
and adolescent mental health has yet to be systematically
However, through collaborative practical experience and
emerging research, it is becoming more clear that military
children and adolescents exposed to parental deployment
experience ambiguous loss and stress, often beyond
normative levels, that may become toxic if not detected and
addressed in a timely manner.
Since significant academic investment in exploring these
effects has not yet occurred, more practical and empiric
strategies have emerged as interim solutions.
Participants from across the Armed Services have begun a
collaborative effort to oversee and coordinate research,
training, youth support, and advocacy efforts.
Some of the major facilitators of this effort have included
the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Uniformed
Services Section and the West and East Chapters of
the AAP, the Office of the Army Surgeon General, and
military pediatricians from all branches of the service.
The major impetus for this work came with a $20,000 grant awarded by the AAP in May 2005 through the Friends of Children Fund and the Healthy People 2010 Chapter Grant Program.
AAP 2007 Military Child Resolution (PDF)
August 2008, PREP Audio, Volume 3, Number 8 Announcement
"The Effect of Deployment on Children"
Learning Objectives :
- To recognize the stages of deployment and the potential each holds for stress in the home.
- To outline possible changes to family dynamics during deployment.
- To identify aspects of the military youth culture.
- To perceive the child's spectrum of stress surrounding parental deployment.
- To apply interventions for reactions to these stresses.
- To recommend potential psychosocial resources, both within and outside the military.
The AAP Annual Leadership Forum Resolution "Critical Action to Support the Children and Adolescents of American Military Families" was adopted as a priority top 10 resolution in Mar 2007. As a result of this resolution, the AAP has provided several opportunities to increase education and awareness of the issue of military youth including a technical paper that is in the process of development between the AAP Section on Uniformed Services and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.
View the recently presented strategic communication poster describing the work and vision of the Military Child and Adoelscent Center of Excellence (MCA CoE) here.
Read COL Chuck Callahan's Inspirational Opening Remarks from the 42nd Annual Uniformed Services Pediatic Seminar here.
View the Force Health Protection Presentation given in Aug 2008 by MAJ Lemmon/ COL Patri LTC (P) Peterson here.
Listen to COL Elisabeth Stafford, MD, FAAP, FSAM speak at the National Summit on America's Children about the importance of military youth issues here. (Advance to 52:08 to hear Dr. Stafford's comments.)