Parental Deployment Tied to Impaired Adolescent Well-Being

Higher odds of low quality of life, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide in 10th-, 12th-grade boys

WEDNESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Parental military service impairs parameters of adolescent well-being, particularly for boys, according to a study published online July 21 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Sarah C. Reed, M.P.H., M.S.W., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues investigated the correlation between parental military service and parameters of adolescent well-being, such as quality of life, depressed mood, and thoughts of suicide. Data were collected from the 2008 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey from 10,606 adolescents in public school grades eight, 10, and 12.

The investigators found that parental deployment was associated with increased odds of thoughts of suicide among eighth-grade girls (odds ratio [OR], 1.66), and for low quality of life (OR, 2.10) and thoughts of suicide (OR, 1.75) among eighth-grade boys. Low quality of life (OR, 2.74), depressed mood (OR, 1.50), and thoughts of suicide (OR, 1.64) were reported among adolescent boys in the 10th and 12th grades.

"Parental military deployment is associated with increased odds of impaired well-being among adolescents, especially adolescent boys. Military, school-based, and public health professionals have a unique opportunity to develop school- and community-based interventions to improve the well-being of adolescents in military families," the authors write.

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