Troops’ kids feel war toll

Updated 6/25/2009 12:26 AM

By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — After seven years of war, most children of combat troops are showing more fear, anxiety and behavioral problems, according to the Pentagon’s most sweeping survey of the effects of war on military children.Six out of 10 U.S. military parents told researchers their children have increased levels of fear and anxiety when a parent is sent to war, according to a survey of more than 13,000 military spouses of active-duty servicemembers. The results, tabulated early this year, were released to USA TODAY.  More than half of those surveyed say generally their children have coped well or very well with a parent who has gone to war. But one in four say the child has coped poorly or very poorly, and a third say the child’s grades and behavior in school have suffered.  Nearly 900,000 troops with children have deployed to war since 2001, and the Pentagon estimates that currently 234,000 children have a mother or father at war. The survey last year had a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points says Barbara Thompson, head of the Pentagon office of Family Policy/Children and Youth.  The Pentagon is “very concerned” about the effects of multiple deployments, she says. Children have classmates who have lost a parent, she says, “it’s in their face that it could happen to me.”

http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2009-06-24-military-kids_N.htm

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