Study reveals health impacts on Defence families

(Medical Xpress)—Partners of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed multiple times were as physically and mentally well as those who had fewer deployments, a University of Queensland study shows.

The first major study of its kind in and one of the largest in the world involved more than 4,000 defence personnel, both current and ex-serving, and their partners was launched today by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon.

Chief Investigator, Dr Annabel McGuire, said the study was commissioned by the Department of Veterans' Affairs to investigate the physical, mental, and impacts of deployment to Timor-Leste on families.

"Results from our survey indicate that most are in good physical and ," Dr McGuire said.

"Partners who were well both physically and mentally coped better with the pressures placed on them by their partners' deployment.

"They reported that their families were functioning well, there was minimal conflict in their relationships, and that they had plenty of family and social support."

Family and community support was particularly important for protecting mental health.

"Not surprisingly, those who demonstrated lower social or family support, low family functioning, and high levels of conflict in their relationships reported they were struggling to cope with the pressures of deployment.

"Everyone's story is different but on average, partners of ADF personnel who had deployed multiple times were just as well physically and mentally as the partners who had experienced fewer deployments.

"While the Timor-Leste Study helped to confirm much of what was already suspected about defence families, we would like to understand more about the impacts of recent deployments to the Middle East.

"Further research relating to the of defence families will be vital to help the Departments of Veterans' Affairs and Defence tailor services and programs which will support the partners and children of our military personnel into the future."

Related Stories

Community provides essential support to military families

date Apr 08, 2009

The deployment of military personnel to active war zones, which involves issues of separation, time away from home, and eventual reunion, increases the vulnerability of their families, The heavy reliance on National Guard ...

Recommended for you

Soldiers cite 'Medic!' as a top hearing priority

date 2 hours ago

'Medic!', 'Hold fire!' and grid references are amongst the highest priorities for soldiers to be able to hear while on duty, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

New measures identified for newborn care in Uganda

date 3 hours ago

In Uganda, child mortality rates are improving, but progress is slower for deaths occurring in the first four weeks of life, or the newborn period, and for stillbirths. But recent evidence from local researchers ...

Should men cut back on their soy intake?

date 6 hours ago

Recently, a friend called my husband to inquire about the risks for men in consuming too much soy milk. He had read an article that described how one individual's plight led him down the path of breast enlargement, and was ...

Probing Question: What is umami?

date 6 hours ago

The next time you're at a dinner party and want to spice up the conversation, you might compliment the hosts on their umami-rich appetizers. Then wait a moment until someone invariably asks, "What's umami?"

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.