First name
Kevin
Middle name
G
Last name
Lynch

Title

Family Characteristics Associated With Child Maltreatment Across the Deployment Cycle of U.S. Army Soldiers.

Year of Publication

2017

Number of Pages

e1879-e1887

Date Published

2017 Sep

ISSN Number

1930-613X

Abstract

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>Soldier deployment can create a stressful environment for U.S. Army families with young children. Prior research has identified elevated rates of child maltreatment in the 6 months immediately following a soldier's return home from deployment. In this study, we longitudinally examine how other child- and family-level characteristics influence the relationship of deployment to risk for maltreatment of dependent children of U.S. Army soldiers.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted a person-time analysis of substantiated reports and medical diagnoses of maltreatment among the 73,404 children of 56,087 U.S. Army soldiers with a single deployment between 2001 and 2007. Cox proportional hazard models estimated hazard rates of maltreatment across deployment periods and simultaneously considered main effects for other child- and family-level characteristics across periods.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>In adjusted models, maltreatment hazard was highest in the 6 months following deployment (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.63, p &lt; 0.001). Children born prematurely or with early special needs independently had an increased risk for maltreatment across all periods (HR = 2.02, p &lt; 0.001), as well as those children whose soldier-parent had been previously diagnosed with a mental illness (HR = 1.68, p &lt; 0.001). In models testing for effect modification, during the 6 months before deployment, children of female soldiers (HR = 2.22, p = 0.006) as well as children of soldiers with a mental health diagnosis (HR = 2.78, p = 0.001) were more likely to experience maltreatment, exceeding the risk at all other periods.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Infants and children are at increased risk for maltreatment in the 6 months following a parent's deployment, even after accounting for other known family- and child-level risk factors. However, the risk does not appear to be the same for all soldiers and their families in relation to deployment, particularly for female soldiers and those who had previously diagnosed mental health issues, for whom the risk appears most elevated before deployment. Accounting for the unique needs of high-risk families at different stages of a soldier's deployment cycle may allow the U.S. Army to better direct resources that prevent and address child maltreatment.</p>

DOI

10.7205/MILMED-D-17-00031

Alternate Title

Mil Med

PMID

28885950

Title

Under-ascertainment from healthcare settings of child abuse events among children of soldiers by the U.S. Army Family Advocacy Program.

Year of Publication

2016

Date Published

2016 Dec 09

ISSN Number

1873-7757

Abstract

<p>In cases of maltreatment involving children of U.S. Army service members, the U.S. Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is responsible for providing services to families and ensuring child safety. The percentage of cases of maltreatment that are known to FAP, however, is uncertain. Thus, the objective of this retrospective study was to estimate the percentage of U.S. Army dependent children with child maltreatment as diagnosed by a military or civilian medical provider who had a substantiated report with FAP from 2004 to 2007. Medical claims data were used to identify 0-17year old child dependents of soldiers who received a medical diagnosis of child maltreatment. Linkage rates of maltreatment medical diagnoses with corresponding substantiated FAP reports were calculated. Bivariate and multivariable analyses examined the association of child, maltreatment episode, and soldier characteristics with linkage to substantiated FAP reports. Across 5945 medically diagnosed maltreatment episodes, 20.3% had a substantiated FAP report. Adjusting for covariates, the predicted probability of linkage to a substantiated FAP report was higher for physical abuse than for sexual abuse, 25.8%, 95% CI (23.4, 28.3) versus 14.5%, 95% CI (11.2, 17.9). Episodes in which early care was provided at civilian treatment facilities were less likely to have a FAP report than those treated at military facilities, 9.8%, 95% CI (7.3, 12.2) versus 23.6%, 95% CI (20.8, 26.4). The observed low rates of linkage of medically diagnosed child maltreatment to substantiated FAP reports may signal the need for further regulation of FAP reporting requirements, particularly for children treated at civilian facilities.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.11.007

Alternate Title

Child Abuse Negl

PMID

27955871

Title

Differential Child Maltreatment Risk Across Deployment Periods of US Army Soldiers.

Year of Publication

2016

Number of Pages

153-8

Date Published

2016 Jan

ISSN Number

1541-0048

Abstract

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>We described the risk for maltreatment among toddlers of US Army soldiers over different deployment cycles to develop a systematic response within the US Army to provide families appropriate supports.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted a person-time analysis of substantiated maltreatment reports and medical diagnoses among children of 112,325 deployed US Army soldiers between 2001 and 2007.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Risk of maltreatment was elevated after deployment for children of soldiers deployed once but not for children of soldiers deployed twice. During the 6 months after deployment, children of soldiers deployed once had 4.43 substantiated maltreatment reports and 4.96 medical diagnoses per 10,000 child-months. The highest maltreatment rate among children of soldiers deployed twice occurred during the second deployment for substantiated maltreatment (4.83 episodes per 10,000 child-months) and before the first deployment for medical diagnoses of maltreatment (3.78 episodes per 10,000 child-months).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>We confirmed an elevated risk for child maltreatment during deployment but also found a previously unidentified high-risk period during the 6 months following deployment, indicating elevated stress within families of deployed and returning soldiers. These findings can inform efforts by the military to initiate and standardize support and preparation to families during periods of elevated risk.</p>

DOI

10.2105/AJPH.2015.302874

Alternate Title

Am J Public Health

PMID

26562128

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