EXPERIENCES OF MILITARY-CONNECTED CHILDREN: PERSPECTIVES OF MOTHERS, TEACHERS AND CHILDREN

AIGBOJE H M, LEGBETI G O

Abstract


 

Increased conflicts in Nigeria, especially with current insurgent activities, have resulted in greater military service demands such as frequent and repeated deployments. Despite extant literature on the possible effects of deployments on children, little to no research has focused on the psychological experiences and outcomes of children from Nigerian military homes. This study explored the perspectives of stay-at home mothers, teachers of military-connected children (MCC) and MCC’s with an aim to provide foundations for development of policy initiatives, interventions and future research.

In this qualitative study, nineteen in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions were conducted with purposively selected stay-at home mothers/wives of personnel, teachers of MCC’s and MCC’s in a military installation in Nigeria using semi-structured interview guides and focus group protocols. All interviews and discussions were conducted in English and transcribed verbatim.

Findings revealed the following: (a) MCC’s are bold, resilient and many of them cope with the stressors associated with parental military service, (b) factors such as parent-child relationship, home environment, parental level of education, deployment frequency/duration, and serving parents’ cadre were perceived as linked to child outcomes, (c) MCC’s suffer fears associated with serving parents’ military role, inability to meet parental expectations, fear of not fitting in and not being loved, (d) MCC’s have unique behavioural and emotional challenges that may necessitate psychological intervention.

Participants recommended that MCC’s may benefit from programs providing support at the school and community level as they face negative impact of parental military service.

 


Keywords


Military-Connected Children; Nigeria; Military; Family; Deployment

Full Text:

PDF

References


REFERENCES

Barker, L. H., & Berry, K. D. (2009). Developmental issues impacting military families with young children during single and multiple deployments. Military Medicine, 174(10):1033-1040.

Card, N. A., Bosch, L., Casper, D. M., Wiggs, C. B., Hawkins, S. A., Schlomer, G. L., & Borden, L. M. (2011). A Meta-Analytic Review of Internalizing, Externalizing, and academic adjustment among children of deployed military service members. Journal of Family Psychology, 25(4), 508-520.

Cederbaum, A., Gilreath, T.D., Benbenishty, R., Astor, R.A., Pineda, D., DePedro, K.T., (2014). Well-being and suicidal ideation of secondary school students from military families. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54, 672–677

Chartrand, M.M., Frank, D.A., White, L.F., & Shope, T.R. (2008) Effect of parents’ wartime deployment on the behavior of young children in military families. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescence Medicine, 162,1009–1014

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2007). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Making human beings human: Bio-ecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Coulthard, J. (2011). The Impact of Deployment on the Well-Being of Military Children: A Preliminary Review. Civilian Personnel Research and Analysis Personnel and Family Support Research, 1, 30-44.

DeVoe, E. R., & Ross, A. (2012). The parenting cycle of deployment. Military Medicine, 177 (2), 184–190. doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-11-00292

Gorman, G. H., Eide, M., & Hisle-Gorman, E. (2010). Wartime military deployment and increased pediatric mental and behavioral health complaints. Pediatrics, 126, 1058–1066.

Huebner, A.J., Mancini, J.A, Wilcox, R.M., Grass, S.R., & Grass, G.A. (2007). Parental deployment and youth in military families: Exploring uncertainty and ambiguous loss. Family Relations, 56 (2), 112-122

Flake, E. M., Davis, B. E., Johnson, P. L., & Middleton, L. S. (2009). The psychosocial effects of deployment on military children. Journal of Deviant Behavior in Pediatrics, 30(4), 271-278.

Lester, P., Peterson, K., Reeves, J., Knauss, L., Glover, D., Mogil, C., Duan, N., Saltzman, W., Pynoos, R., Wilt, K., & Beardslee, W., (2010). The Long War and Parental Combat Deployment: Effects on Military Children and At-Home Spouses. Journal of American Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(2) 72-82.

Lester, P., Saltzman, W.R., Woodward, K., Glover, D., Leskin, G.A., Bursch, B., Beardslee, W. (2012). Evaluation of a family-centered prevention intervention for military children and families facing wartime deployments. American Journal of Public Health, 102, 48–54.

Lester, P., Aralis, H., Sinclair, M., Kiff, C., Lee, K.H., Mustillo, S., & Wadsworth, S.D. (2016). The impact of deployment on parental, family and child adjustment in military families. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 47 (6), 938-949.

López-Pérez, B. & Wilson, E. L. (2015). Parent–child discrepancies in the assessment of children’s and adolescents’ happiness. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 139: 249-255.

Pranee, L. (2010). Focus Group Methodology: Introduction and History. 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: http://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/39360_978_1_84787_909_7.pdf [Accessed 13 Nov. 2018].

Vaughn, S., Schumm, J. S., & Sinagub, J. (1996). Focus group interviews in education and psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Weber, E.G., & Weber, D.K. (2005). Geographic relocation frequency, resilience, and military adolescent behavior. Military Medicine,170 (7), 638–642.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.