The children of parents on active military duty are vulnerable to long-term emotional strain, according to a new study from a research nonprofit called Child Trends. As many as a half million American children face the elevated risk for emotional problems, particularly anxiety issues. Further, if parents return from active duty with mental health struggles of their own, children face additional risk. The Huffington Post has more:
David Murphey, the author of Child Trend's study "Home Front Alert: The Risks Facing Young Children in Military Families," told the Washington Post that this particular group of children is facing emotional obstacles that could develop into more serious long-term issues.
"We're concerned that children exposed to stressful events, particularly traumatic stressful events, will have difficulty learning to cope with emotions, to do well socially and academically, and even have problems with their physical health," he said. "As these younger children grow up, we can expect there will be at least a subset of them that will face very substantial problems."
Murphey explains the delicate nature of these young children's mental development in a recent Child Trends video.
"It could be the accumulation of those stresses as well as a single overwhelming stress that can lead to really lasting changes in the developing brain that can have negative implications for development further down the line," he said.
Image: Military family, via Shutterstock