Examining the Effects of Parental Combat Deployment on the Body Mass Index and Eating Behaviors and Attitudes of Adolescent Female Military Dependents
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD BETHESDA United States
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Studies have demonstrated the psychological and emotional impact of parental combat deployments on military child dependents Acion, Ramirez, Jorge, and Arndt, 2013 Flake, Davis, Johnson, and Middleton, 2009. However, the effect of these deployments on the weight status and eating behaviors and attitudes of the military child population remains unexplored. Adolescent female military dependents N 81 and their parents N 68 who received medical care from the Family Medicine Clinic at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital voluntarily completed questionnaires assessing their weight status and eating behaviors and attitudes e.g., bingeloss of control eating, idealization of the thin-ideal.More than half of the adolescents 56 experienced at least one parental combat deployment. The mean BMI of adolescents was 22.6 4.9, their mean age was 14.2 1.6y, and most were Caucasian 67. A majority of the parents who participated in the study respondent parents were mothers 88.2. The mean BMI of the parents was in the overweight range 26.91 5.09 and most were married 85.9 and Caucasian 73.2. Parental combat deployment was associated with emotional eating and thin ideal internalization. Adolescent psychological functioning mediated the relationship between parental combat deployment and adolescent BMI-z, among participants who had experienced at least one parental combat deployment. Implications for primary care providers and future research are discussed.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Sociology and Law