Martin C. Evans

Guard kids of deployed parents suffer more

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

A C-130 transport with the 106th Air Rescue unit being prepared for takeoff. The 106th has stationed rescue troops in Afghanistan several times this year. Newsday photo

Teens from military families, especially National Guard and others who don’t live on a military base, suffer more emotional stress and behavioral issues than other American youth, a Rand Corporation study published in the journal Pediatrics concluded.

Researchers found that across all age groups, children from military families reported significantly higher levels of emotional difficulties than children in the general population. Children whose caregiver also struggled emotionally and children in their teens were the most troubled.

The findings, published Dec. 7, are particularly significant to the large numbers of Army and Air Force National Guard troops on Long Island who have made multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Long Island does not have large military bases that elsewhere provide emotional and material support to troops.

Last year, troops deployed from several Long-Island based Guard or Reserve units, including the Army National Guard’s 69th Infantry Regiment, the 3rd Battalion/142 Aviation unit, the  2nd Battalion/25th Marine Reserve Regiment and the 106th Air Rescue Wing.

Nationwide, about 2 million U.S. children had a parent in either the active or reserve component of the military in 2009.

The Rand Corporation studied 1,500 children from military families across the country.

About one-third of them reported symptoms of anxiety, somewhat higher than the percentage reported in other studies of children.

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