Combat-injured service members and their families: The relationship of child distress and spouse-perceived family distress and disruption

Authors


Abstract

Combat injury in military service members affects both child and family functioning. This preliminary study examined the relationship of child distress postinjury to preinjury deployment-related family distress, injury severity, and family disruption postinjury. Child distress postinjury was assessed by reports from 41 spouses of combat-injured service members who had been hospitalized at two military tertiary care treatment centers. Families with high preinjury deployment-related family distress and high family disruption postinjury were more likely to report high child distress postinjury. Spouse-reported injury severity was unrelated to child distress. Findings suggest that early identification and intervention with combat-injured families experiencing distress and disruption may be warranted to support family and child health, regardless of injury severity.

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