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Elizabeth Jones
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 6:51:17 PM

Military families know the deployment of a family member is not an easy experience, but so far there has been little research on the subject - until now. A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health shed some light on the effects deployment of a family member has on teens.

"We've been in the longest war in recent history with increased numbers of individuals experiencing combat and being deployed for longer periods of time," Julie Cederbaum, a researcher at the University of Southern California and the study's co-author, said in a statement."We are logically thinking about the adult that is being deployed, but we're not talking enough about the kids left behind and how they might manage the military experience of their parent."

After analyzing the mental health records of more than 14,000 teenagers residing in California, 13% of which had a parent or sibling in the military, Cederbaum and her fellow researchers found that teens with a family member on deployment were 40 times more likely to experience feelings such as hopelessness and sadness. An astonishing 24% of teens with a deployed family member were more likely to contemplate suicide, while 15% were likely to experience depression.

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