Study reveals health impacts on Defence families

September 20, 2012

(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."

Explore further: Violence more common among kids of combat veterans

Related Stories

Violence more common among kids of combat veterans

October 31, 2011
(AP) -- A new study suggests that when parents are deployed in the military, their children are more than twice as likely to carry a weapon, join a gang or be involved in fights.

Adolescent boys among those most affected by Washington state parental military deployment

July 21, 2011
In 2007, nearly two million children in the United States had at least one parent serving in the military. Military families and children, in particular, suffer from mental health problems related to long deployments.

Study offers insight for returning troops and their relationships

August 31, 2011
Troops overseas often want nothing more than to get back home to loved ones – but the reunion period often can be more emotionally taxing than the deployment.

Recommended for you

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears

November 22, 2017
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open access ...

Moderate coffee drinking 'more likely to benefit health than to harm it', say experts

November 22, 2017
Drinking coffee is "more likely to benefit health than to harm it" for a range of health outcomes, say researchers in The BMJ today.

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

0 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.