PURPOSE: The purpose of this observational, point prevalence study is to determine if parental deployment affects the cognitive, social and emotional development of preschool age children in the military family.
METHODS: Demographic information was collected and an age-appropriate Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) and Ages and Stages Social-Emotional Inventory (ASQ:SE) were administered. The primary outcome measure was the failure rates on the developmental instruments.
RESULTS: We identified 151 parents of eligible children; 95 children had a parent that deployed during their lifetime. We found a significant difference in ASQ-3 failure rates for children in the deployed group compared to those in the nondeployed group. Children of deployed parents were at least twice as often to fail the ASQ-3 or ASQ:SE developmental screen compared to children whose parents did not deploy. 30.5% of children in the deployed group failed the ASQ-3 screen while 12.5% of children who did not have a deployed parent failed (P=.009). On the ASQ:SE developmental screen, 16.8% of children who had a parent deploy failed versus 5.4% of children who did not have a parent deploy (P=.031).
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that parental deployment is related to adverse risk for developmental delays in children in military families. The psychological burden on military children could be life-long or require significant resources to address. These adverse outcomes could be possibly mitigated by early detection of developmental delay and firm attention to aggressive screening techniques in military communities.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||U.S. Army Medical Department journal|
|State||Published - 1 Oct 2014|
- child development
- military deployment