Until recently, the examination of the effects of combat deployment on military families have been largely limited to a small number of studies involving Vietnam veterans. While these studies help to demonstrate relationships between veterans’ psychological injuries and difficulties in child/family outcomes, much of this research was conducted years after the veteran’s return, potentially limiting the application of the studies to today’s sociopolitical landscape. In the past several years, additional studies have emerged that focus specifically on military families and children in the context of OEF/OIF. Although sparse, this emerging literature examines the reintegration experience of today’s military families struggling with the extraordinary stressors associated with combat deployment-related separation, physical injury, psychological injury, and uncertainty may place even the strongest families at risk for destabilization or compromised functioning.
Mulrooney, K. and Williams, D. S., 2012. Increasing understanding of infants and young children in military families through focused research. CIR Policy Brief. USC School of Social Work.