A new study has found that children in military families express more aggressive behavior when a military parent is deployed, according to this AP article.
The study was small—less than 200 children—but took into consideration the emotional and stress level of the remaining parent, which is an important factor to consider, experts say. Children younger than 3 did not exhibit aggressive behavior, while children 3 and up had increased rates of biting, hitting, and hyperactivity, says the article.
Although it is a small study, this is an interesting look into how war affects young children. I do wonder, though, how these children compare to other children who experience the absence of a parent after the age of 3, for military reasons or otherwise. This study compared those children with other military families in which a parent was not deployed. I also wonder if the child continues to exhibit aggressive behavior once the deployed parent returns.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.