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"Since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, more than 2 million school-aged youth in the United States have had a parent enlist in the military. About 1.2 million of these youth have experienced the deployment of a parent. Multiple and prolonged deployments and exposure to veteran trauma disrupt family relationships and financial stability. The deployment cycle also effects the mental health and well-being of service members and left-behind caregivers and children. Indeed, the caregivers in particular must cope with emotional stress and may have feelings of social isolation. Even when seeking help, left-behind caregivers may have difficulty locating health care providers who are aware of military life issues. Multiple life stressors and the lack of social support in civilian communities place military youth at risk of abuse and neglect. Indeed, Danielle Rentz and her colleagues found that child maltreatment rates in military families have doubled since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Child Abuse and Neglect. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Child Abuse and Neglect, volume 47, in 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.06.004

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