For decades, research has shown that children of military-serving parents suffer from higher levels of anxiety and emotional problems than their non-military peers. But a 2010 study revealed a less obvious point: after returning home, the spouses’ anxiety returned to normal, while the children’s anxiety remained high.
For one-third, it was “clinically significant,” that is, severe enough to warrant specialist attention. The study was led by Katherine Mogil, a clinical psychologist with the UCLA FOCUS project, which helps military families.
She says the reason for the children’s constant anxiety is not clear, but military children face frightening questions – Could something terrible have happened? — something they don’t usually face until they’re older.