Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Military dads have to re-learn parenting after deployment

Date:
March 4, 2014
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
Fathers who returned after military service report having difficulty connecting with young children who sometimes don’t remember them, according to a study released this week. While the fathers in the study had eagerly anticipated reuniting with their families, they reported significant stress, especially around issues of reconnecting with children, adapting expectations from military to family life, and co-parenting.

Fathers who returned after military service report having difficulty connecting with young children who sometimes don't remember them, according to a study released this week.

While the fathers in the study had eagerly anticipated reuniting with their families, they reported significant stress, especially around issues of reconnecting with children, adapting expectations from military to family life, and co-parenting.

"A service member who deploys when his child is an infant and returns home when the child is a toddler may find an entirely different child," says lead author Dr. Tova Walsh. "Under these circumstances, fathers find that it takes substantial effort to rebuild their relationship with their child."

The study was published in a special issue of the journal Health & Social Work devoted to the needs of military families. About 37 percent of the 2 million U.S. children of service members are under age 6, suggesting that such issues are widespread.

Walsh, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar, is spending three years doing research at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. For the study, she and colleagues interviewed 14 fathers of children ages 6 and under who were returning from combat deployment. Most were members of the Michigan Army National Guard. The small group was part of a larger study that is evaluating a group parenting class called STRoNG Military Families.

For some, the reunion with their children didn't go as anticipated. One father told the researchers of coming home to a toddler gripping onto his mother's leg: "He (was) looking at me like, 'Who's that?' She had to tell him, 'That's Daddy." I have no idea what our relationship would be like if there was no Iraq war."

The fathers reported they wanted to improve their parenting skills, learn to better express emotion and manage their tempers. Half of the fathers met the clinical definition of having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and most of the rest had subclinical symptoms of trauma. Several reported having difficulty staying calm when their young children acted up, or said they were stressed by their children's behavior.

"The results show that we need to support military families during reintegration," says Walsh. "Military fathers are receptive to information and support that will help them understand and respond to their children's age-typical responses to separation and reunion. They all hope to renew their relationships with their young children."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. B. Walsh, C. J. Dayton, M. S. Erwin, M. Muzik, A. Busuito, K. L. Rosenblum. Fathering after Military Deployment: Parenting Challenges and Goals of Fathers of Young Children. Health & Social Work, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/hsw/hlu005

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Military dads have to re-learn parenting after deployment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304141637.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2014, March 4). Military dads have to re-learn parenting after deployment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304141637.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Military dads have to re-learn parenting after deployment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304141637.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) — New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins