Children in Military Families
stressors on service members and their families is well documented and should beunderstood by helping professionals who work with children who may be affected by thedeployment of a close friend or family member (Murray, 2002).Children and caregivers in military families commonly report problematicsymptoms due to experiences of stress, anxiety, separation from family members, loss,and grief. As a theory that directly addresses these issues, attachment theory (Bowlby,
1969) which focuses on the importance of children’s attachment to caregivers for
psychosocial well-being, is uniquely suited to aid the mental health professional inunderstanding the etiology of these symptoms. Further, interventions informed byattachment theory may be helpful in treating children who present with these issues in asocial work setting.
Stressors in Military Families and the Effects on Caregivers
Military families are a unique population. In addition to the day-to-day stressorsthat affect all families, military families contend with specific stressors that are unique tothe military lifestyle including repeated relocations, frequent separation, deployment of service members-sometimes to dangerous locations, reorganization of family life, andrisk of service member injury or death (Burrell, Adams, Durand, & Castro, 2006;Drummet, Coleman, & Cable, 2003). Not surprisingly, fear for soldier safety is the mostcommonly reported stressor of spouses in the military, particularly when the servicemember is deployed to a combat zone (Cozza, Chun, & Polo, 2005).It is logical to begin any discussion of the psychosocial well=being of childrenwith a discussion of the psychosocial well-being of the adults who care for them. Ryan-Wenger (2002) notes that children whose parents are deployed generally exhibit sub-