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Link Between Deployment Factors and Parenting Stress in Navy Families

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Technical Report,01 Aug 2013,30 Dec 2015

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University of Virginia Charlottesville United States

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Purpose Many service members today are married, and many also have children deployments affect all members of the military family. The purpose of this study was two-fold 1 to look at parenting stress in Navy active duty fathers and 2 to evaluate spirituality and social support in both civilian mothers and active duty fathers who had experienced a recent Navy deployment. Design This study used a cross-sectional correlational research design. The major independent variables were four specific deployment factors, spirituality, and social support. Demographic covariates were included, as well as current PTSD symptoms, current depressive symptoms, and other life stressors. The dependent variable was parenting stress. Methods All eligible participants completed an electronic survey which consisted of demographic information, and eight validated psychosocial scales. Sample The sample consisted of 111 active duty Navy fathers, and 82 of their female civilian spouses. Fathers must have returned from deployment within the past 3 to 12 months, and must have had at least one child more than one month of age, and less than six years of age, living in the same home. Analysis Descriptive statistics, as well as Pearson correlational analysis, t-test analysis, bivariate regressions, and hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted. Findings As deployment factors increased, parenting stress increased for fathers in the reintegration period, with a potential mediation effect of depression. As spirituality and social support scores increased, parenting stress scores decreased significantly for both mothers and fathers. Implications for Military Nursing As parenting stress increases, optimal child outcomes decrease. Being able to identify high levels of parenting stress, and factors which can mitigate it, will lead to better health outcomes for our military families.

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