Helping Children with the Psychosocial Effects of a Parent's Deployment: Integrating Today's Needs with Lessons Learned from the Vietnam War
Date of this version
Afghanistan War, children, deployment separation, Iraq War, Vietnam War
Social workers who treat children of deployed servicemembers may feel poorly prepared to work competently with military families and will benefit from understanding the immediate and long-term effects of parental deployment upon children. This review consolidates a substantial, shifting knowledge base and establishes a coherent theoretical framework for social workers to learn about the effects of war-specific deployment cycles for servicemembers, and the relationship among family members' and children's experiences with deployment separation. The author considers important lessons learned during the Vietnam War and the unique experiences specific to current wars. This article compares the Vietnam War and the more recent wars' characteristics of military deployment, demographic characteristics of service members, servicemembers' family characteristics, and research findings about the psychosocial effects of deployment on children. A case vignette is presented to clarify how an understanding of deployment and reintegration is necessary for the treatment of servicemembers, families, and children by social workers.
Smith College Studies in Social Work