Study Points

Working with Military Families: Impact of Deployment

Course #76332 - $20 • 5 Hours/Credits

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  • Participation Instructions
    • Review the course material online or in print.
    • Complete the course evaluation.
    • Review your Transcript to view and print your Certificate of Completion. Your date of completion will be the date (Pacific Time) the course was electronically submitted for credit, with no exceptions. Partial credit is not available.
  1. As of 2018, how many military personnel were there in the United States?

    MILITARY PERSONNEL: DEMOGRAPHIC OVERVIEW

    According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there were 3.49 million military personnel as of 2018 [6]. The Army has the largest number of active duty members, followed by the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps [6]. In 2018, California, Virginia, and Texas were home to the greatest number of active duty military personnel [6]. Men make up the majority of active-duty personnel at 83.5%, with women comprising the remaining 16.5%. Since 2000, the percentage of female officers has increased from 14.8% to 18% [6]. Women are a growing segment of users of Veterans Administration services [8]. In addition, more than 30,000 single mothers have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003 [8].

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  2. What percentage of the active-duty military force is married?

    MILITARY PERSONNEL: DEMOGRAPHIC OVERVIEW

    Slightly more than half (51.5%) of the active-duty force is married [6]. In general, military individuals tend to marry at a younger age compared to the civilian population [9]. In addition, 6.7% of active-duty personnel are in dual military marriages [6]. Both active duty and reserve personnel have an average of two children [6].

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  3. Which of the following statements regarding the effects of frequent relocations on military families is TRUE?

    MILITARY CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE

    It has been said that the military is an example of a social institution that is "greedy," meaning that the military requires from its members a great amount of commitment, loyalty, time, and energy, which ultimately affects other role commitments [10]. Family members of military personnel are expected to relocate frequently, and this uprooting necessitates spouses and children to make transitions and adjustments to their lifestyles, to make new friends, and to develop new social networks [10]. For example, it is estimated that 20% of families in the United States relocate annually; however, approximately 33% of military families relocate each year [11]. It is estimated that children of active-duty parents will move more than 20 times over the course of their childhood, three times more often than their civilian counterparts [7]. Inevitably, the frequency of relocations brings about multiple levels of stress. In a focus group of military youths, military spouses, and school personnel, the youths stated that they sometimes felt angry toward their parents for having to move multiple times and expressed a feeling of loss for having to separate from friends. Some wondered whether it was even worthwhile to invest in making new friends. Some parents felt that multiple relocations could help children learn important skills of adjusting, but indicated concern that it would affect the children's ability to make commitments to relationships.

    Military spouses tend to have a more difficult time finding jobs because their transience makes them less desirable to employers [10]. When they do find jobs, their wages tend to be lower compared to their civilian counterparts who share the same demographics (e.g., age, educational level, ethnicity/race) [12]. In some cases, career advancement may be negatively affected [7]. Those who are not working and not seeking work report that there are too many barriers to employment including child care issues and the demands of the military lifestyle. Although some of these barriers are experienced by civilians as well, military families frequently cannot rely on extended family members for support [12]. In addition, military personnel often work long and unpredictable hours, which also impacts the family and the scheduling of activities. It is estimated that service personnel work an average of more than 50 hours per week, and it is higher (60 hours per week) for officers [10].

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  4. Which of the following is a benefit of the military lifestyle?

    MILITARY CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE

    Despite the negatives of a military lifestyle, there are many positive benefits for families as well. There is a sense of belonging among families living on base or post, and they rely on each other for support. Military service members experience a sense of camaraderie, and their family members may also experience this sense of deep rootedness and affiliation. There are also financial benefits, as military families have access to medical care, job security, and other benefits, often extending into retirement [10].

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  5. Military culture may be described as

    MILITARY CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE

    Military culture is also hierarchical and male-dominated. Consequently, ideals of being tough, self-sufficient, and strong (i.e., "the masculine warrior") are reinforced, with the belief that these norms will help to ensure that service members are mission-prepared and will survive in difficult circumstances [16,17]. Emanating from this norm is the belief that all problems can be solved given enough time and effort [103]. This belief, referred to as the "warrior ethos," is based on the conviction that the mission is paramount and defeat should not be accepted [104]. However, the downside of this type of promoted ideal is that experiences of psychologic, social, and/or emotional distress are viewed as signs of weakness; the military tends to reinforce the notion that a true soldier (or airman, seaman, etc.) does not need assistance [13,16]. Therefore, obtaining formal help further places them at risk for stigmatization [16]. As a result, many rely on the peer support of other military service members rather than professional help [18]. This mutual support has its benefits, but it only goes so far.

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  6. Which of the following is NOT a phase in the cycle of deployment?

    CYCLE OF DEPLOYMENT

    The cycle of deployment and the associated transitions made by military personnel and their family members are significant. This cycle consists of five different phases: pre-deployment, deployment, sustainment, redeployment, and post-deployment or reintegration. In each of these phases, military personnel, spouses, children, and other family members experience a range of challenges and adjustments [21].

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  7. The loss associated with deployment is ongoing and psychologic. This is referred to as

    CYCLE OF DEPLOYMENT

    The next phase is the actual deployment, when the service member departs. It is the separation phase, and for some families, the holding pattern of the pre-deployment phase is so stressful that the actual deployment is viewed as a temporary relief of the anticipation of separation [21]. This loss associated with deployment is referred to as "ambiguous loss," meaning it is not physical but psychologic [23]. Unlike death, a permanent physical loss, the family of the military personnel experiences ongoing psychologic loss, and this uncertainty can lead to difficulties in decision making and planning for the future [22]. Within this context, spouses may experience negative mental health symptoms. In one study, spouses of deployed service members experienced higher levels of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and adjustment disorders compared with those without deployed spouses [24]. In a qualitative study about the stressors impacting military families during the Desert Storm deployment in the early 1990s, researchers found that families experienced three types of stressors: emotional (e.g., missing the deployed family member, feeling anxious about his/her safety), the day-to-day practicalities of life (e.g., budgets, powers of attorney, child care), and general life events [25]. The major stressors the families identified were loneliness, financial concerns, and childcare and disciplining. Not all families had social support networks readily available, as family, friends, and/or other extended family members were often not living nearby [25]. With modern video communication options (e.g., Skype), family members can see and speak in real time with the deployed family member. These opportunities may mitigate anxiety and loneliness, but witnessing realities of combat (e.g., hearing explosions or seeing injuries) may be traumatic, especially for children [105].

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  8. The phase during which family members are notified that the deployed individual will be returning home is the

    CYCLE OF DEPLOYMENT

    The redeployment phase, also called the reunion phase, involves notification that the deployed family member is returning home. Both the deployed individual and the family members prepare themselves for the homecoming, and there is a tremendous amount of anticipation [26,27]. As with any potential change in the family system, there may be some anxiety about how the returning family member will affect the routines that have been established and the power and role dynamics and relationships [26,27]. During this time, family members are often attempting to prepare for the homecoming to ensure that everything is as perfect as possible [28]. Children may be asked to help in order to prepare.

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  9. The rate of relationship and family problems is highest during what phase of the deployment cycle?

    CYCLE OF DEPLOYMENT

    Some military families will encounter challenges during the post-deployment phase, including substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, and domestic violence. In fact, it is estimated that the rate of relationship and family problems is four times higher during this phase than the other phases [29]. In a study involving 19,227 active U.S. soldiers from brigade combat teams who served in Iraq or Afghanistan between 2003 and 2009, problems of marital quality were reported and separation/divorce intentions increased during the reintegration period [51].

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  10. What theoretical framework is based on the core assumption that alignment between individuals and the environment in which they operate is necessary?

    THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS

    Ecologic theory is based on the inter-relationships of the individual and his/her behaviors on four different levels: macrosystem, exosystem, microsystem, and ontologic [34]. The core assumption is that alignment between individuals and the environment in which they operate is necessary, as resources and support are derived from the environment [35].

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  11. Which of the following is a category of resilience?

    THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS

    There are three categories of resilience [39]. The first is overcoming the odds, which encompasses positive outcomes despite adverse conditions. The second category is sustained competence, which involves being able to harness inner and outer resources to cope with adverse conditions. Finally, the third category is recovery from trauma, which comprises the capacity to move on, progress, and function in a healthy manner despite past and ongoing stressors.

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  12. Military families tend to be resourceful, flexible, and adaptable due to the many transitions they have undergone.

    THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS

    There is a misconception that military spouses fall apart when their spouses are deployed. Some research indicates that spouses who are left behind take over family decision making, assume new roles, and seek assistance, ultimately demonstrating tremendous role flexibility [41]. Indeed, military families tend to be resourceful, flexible, and adaptable due to the many transitions they have undergone. Examples of resiliency in these families include an enhanced ability to make new friends, deftly transitioning from dual-parent to single-parent households and back, and adjusting to diversity [39].

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  13. What is a core assumption of the strengths-based perspective?

    THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS

    The strengths-based perspective was developed in the 1980s in order to move away from traditional theoretical models in mental health care that emphasized deficits and pathology [42]. It is now applied in many areas of mental and behavioral health. The core assumptions of the strengths-based perspective are that humans have the strengths and resources necessary to change the circumstances of their lives, and in doing so, they can learn and grow [42]. Strengths include a client's innate abilities and skills as well as external resources in the community and family. After the problem is identified, the goal is to move away from focusing on naming the problem or deficit and to move toward identifying possible solutions [43]. The strengths-based perspective encompasses honoring the past and acknowledging the gifts of varied life experiences [111]. In the case of working with families with a deployed member, the practitioner will not necessarily focus on asking one family member why he or she is depressed. Instead, the practitioner will spend time and effort with the client identifying the strengths within the individual, the family, and the community that can be garnered to help support the family members during deployment. Military families, like any family, experience challenges and strengths, and the strengths-based perspective is beneficial in working through issues unique to these families' circumstances [44]. For example, a family can focus on the benefits that result from the numerous relocations (e.g., new skills, adaptability) [103].

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  14. Families who have experienced multiple deployments may have developed coping mechanisms and family rituals to handle the family member's departure.

    EFFECTS OF DEPLOYMENT

    The types of stressors that military families experience vary tremendously depending upon numerous factors; therefore, it is important to keep in mind that there is no one homogenous military family system. Families who have experienced multiple deployments may have developed coping mechanisms and family rituals to handle the family member's departure. Living on or off a military base can also affect the types of stress family members experience. For example, if a family is surrounded by others with deployed members, there may be a shared understanding of deployment and necessary adjustments. Living in a non-military community may translate to less understanding of the emotional strains that a military family member is going through and greater levels of isolation [29]. Young, recently married military families may experience the greatest amount of stress because they are less financially stable [13]. Young enlistees are usually a lower hierarchical rung of the military, with low pay, and the economic stress can be great for family members who are left behind. Some may require government assistance, which can negatively impact self-esteem [13].

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  15. Which of the following is NOT a barrier to communication between deployed military personnel and their spouses?

    EFFECTS OF DEPLOYMENT

    In research involving deployed military personnel and their communication with their spouses, barriers to communication included security restrictions, technical challenges related to unreliable communication, and translation issues. Because family members are so far removed from the realities of a war zone, it can be difficult for military personnel to satisfactorily express their experiences and feelings. The problems with translation stemmed from being unable to convey intent with nonverbal gestures, facial expressions, and tone of voice can lead to "mistranslated" information [49].

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  16. Which of the following factors contributes to higher stress among spouses at home than deployed spouses?

    EFFECTS OF DEPLOYMENT

    In a study of 300 married couples in which the deployed husband was active duty in the Army and the wife was a civilian, stress existed for both partners [52]. However, it was higher overall for the wives, despite the fact that the husbands experienced more physical threat. The researchers speculate that there may be several reasons for this trend. First, the husbands' military training may help them to better deal with the stressors or perhaps make them more reluctant to admit to stress. The lack of information given to the wives was found to increase their stress levels [52]. It is not surprising then that a study examining outpatient medical visits of wives of active-duty Army personnel during a three-year period found that 36.6% had at least one mental health diagnosis, compared with 30.5% of wives whose husbands were not deployed [24]. The most common diagnoses included depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and acute stress and adjustment disorders [24]. Prolonged periods of deployment were associated with higher risks of mental health diagnoses and greater frequency of medical outpatient visits [24].

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  17. In a study of wives of active-duty Army personnel, all of the following were common psychiatric diagnoses, EXCEPT:

    EFFECTS OF DEPLOYMENT

    In a study of 300 married couples in which the deployed husband was active duty in the Army and the wife was a civilian, stress existed for both partners [52]. However, it was higher overall for the wives, despite the fact that the husbands experienced more physical threat. The researchers speculate that there may be several reasons for this trend. First, the husbands' military training may help them to better deal with the stressors or perhaps make them more reluctant to admit to stress. The lack of information given to the wives was found to increase their stress levels [52]. It is not surprising then that a study examining outpatient medical visits of wives of active-duty Army personnel during a three-year period found that 36.6% had at least one mental health diagnosis, compared with 30.5% of wives whose husbands were not deployed [24]. The most common diagnoses included depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and acute stress and adjustment disorders [24]. Prolonged periods of deployment were associated with higher risks of mental health diagnoses and greater frequency of medical outpatient visits [24].

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  18. All military marriages are burdened with stress and marital discord due to deployment.

    EFFECTS OF DEPLOYMENT

    It is interesting to note that anxieties and fears about deployment can also bring couples closer. Some military wives indicated that the fear of possibly losing their spouse increased the level of communication and intimacy in the marital dyad. The deployed husbands expressed similar sentiments, reporting valuing their wives and marriages more [48]. Consequently, it is crucial not to generalize all military marriages as burdened with stress and marital discord due to deployment. For example, older spouses, those who are married to military personnel in higher ranks, and spouses with more military experience tend to experience fewer challenges [53].

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  19. Which of the following statements regarding the impact of parental deployment on children is TRUE?

    EFFECTS OF DEPLOYMENT

    Attachment theory may provide a helpful theoretical framework in understanding the potential effects of parental deployment on children. Attachment theory is based on the belief that children have a need to attach themselves to a key figure, such as a parent, and separation results in displays of emotional distress. The parental bond is crucial to developing healthy emotional relationships when the child moves to adulthood; childhood separation is linked to depression, anxiety, aggressive behaviors, and other emotional and psychologic problems throughout life [54]. Based on attachment theory, parental deployment may negatively impact a child's need for security and can result in despair, anger, withdrawal, or detachment [7]. However, empirical findings are somewhat mixed when it comes to understanding how this extends to children's mental health. Some studies have found that children with deployed parents exhibit higher levels of depression and anxiety compared to children with nondeployed parents, although the symptoms were not pathologically severe. In a 2011 quantitative research study with 106 military parents and 72 youths, children with a deployed parent experienced higher levels of school-related problems and internalizing and externalizing symptoms compared to children of nondeployed parents [55]. Twice as many children with a currently deployed parent scored in the "at-risk" category for emotional and behavioral problems compared with children of nondeployed parents. For example, in one study, teenagers were nine times more likely to binge drinking during the parental deployment [114]. However, the relationship between psychosocial outcomes and status of parental deployment is not simple; there is a host of other variables. Greater number of deployments and longer deployment periods are correlated with increased behavioral problems, although not significantly so [56]. Indeed, it is not merely the length of a deployment but the cumulative length of all separations experienced during the child's lifetime that correlates with psychosocial challenges during the deployment and reintegration phases [57].

    Children may experience distress and have higher maladaptive behaviors immediately after they separate, but this appears to lessen over time [115]. Further research indicates no statistically significant relationship between deployment and negative social and emotional development for children between birth and 5 years of age [116]. However, older children (6 to 10 years of age) tend to experience more problems with peers if one of their parents were deployed in their early childhood.

    The mental health of the primary caregiver is also an important factor. The most consistent predictor of how well a child will adjust to a parent's deployment is the primary caregiver's own psychopathology [58]. In families with deployed members, there is a direct relationship between caregivers who experience poorer mental health outcomes and poorer academic functioning among their children [57].

    Gender differences also exist. Girls tend to have more difficulties during the reintegration phase when the deployed parent returns than boys [57]. This may be because girls typically assume more household responsibilities during the military parent's absence.

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  20. In a study of spousal abuse in Air Force families, what type of abuse was most likely to be substantiated?

    OTHER KEY SOCIAL PROBLEMS

    In one review of the Army's central registry, researchers found that, between 1989 and 1997, there were 61,827 initial substantiated cases, 5,772 subsequent incidents, and 3,921 reopened cases [60]. Victim rates varied between 8 and 10.5 per 1,000 married persons. More than 65% of the victims were female, and almost half of the referrals were from law enforcement. The vast majority (93%) involved physical violence resulting in minor injuries [61]. Other Department of Defense data indicate that 19 of 1,000 Navy and Air Force wives and 21 of 1,000 Army wives were abused in the last year. In a 2010 analysis of data from the U.S. Air Force Family Advocacy Program, there were a total of 33,787 substantiated incidences of spousal abuse [62]. Physical abuse was the most frequent type of abuse to be substantiated, while neglect was the least likely to be substantiated. Newer reports from the Congressional Research Service indicate that among the active-duty population, there were 16,912 reported incidents of spouse and intimate partner abuse in 2018. Among these, 8,039 reports (6,372 victims) met the DoD definitions. Physical abuse accounted for the highest number of reports (73.7%), followed by emotional abuse (22.6%), sexual abuse (3.6%), and neglect (0.06%) [63].

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  21. What proportion of active-duty military women report ever having experienced physical and/or sexual abuse by an intimate partner?

    OTHER KEY SOCIAL PROBLEMS

    Female veterans appear to be at increased risk of physical and sexual violence from their intimate partners (33%) compared with nonveteran counterparts (23.8%) [66]. Female veterans who experienced previous childhood sexual abuse are three times more likely to be victims of spousal abuse, and those who experienced an unwanted incidence of sexual victimization during military service were more likely to have experienced interpersonal violence in the last year. Being in the Army (versus other military branches) is also a risk factor for past-year victimization [131]. In a study examining directionality of abuse, a sample of 248 women enlisted in the Army and married to civilian spouses were assessed for domestic violence [64]. Researchers found that the enlisted women were four times more likely to be victimized by minor violence and three times more likely to be victims of severe violence than to be perpetrators. A disconcerting 60% of all types of violence reported was bi-directional (i.e., both parties were inflicting the violence) and severe [64]. These couples tended to be younger and more recently married. Furthermore, if an enlisted woman's spouse was employed less than full-time, bi-directional violence was more common compared to families with full-time employed civilian spouses.

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  22. The overall rate of child maltreatment in the United States appears to be increasing, but rates in military families may be decreasing.

    OTHER KEY SOCIAL PROBLEMS

    The overall rate of child maltreatment in the United States appears to be decreasing, but rates in military families may be increasing. According to a study published in 2013, there was a 40% increase in cases of child abuse in Army families between 2009 and 2012 [68]. Interestingly, in a study of child abuse in Air Force families, emotional abuse was the most likely to be substantiated, with physical abuse the least likely to be substantiated [62].

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  23. This lower rate of illicit substance use among military servicemen and women is due in part to the military's random testing procedures and zero-tolerance policies.

    OTHER KEY SOCIAL PROBLEMS

    Among all military service members, the overall prevalence rate for heavy alcohol use in the past 12 months is 5.4% [73]. A Department of Defense report indicates that the heaviest rates of drinking were among Marines (12.4%), followed by the Navy (6%), Army (4.1%), Coast Guard (3.5%), and Air Force (2.7%) [73]. When comparing illicit substance use among civilian and military populations, civilian past-year usage is higher (16.6%) compared with military servicemen and women (0.7%). This lower rate of illicit substance use is due in part to the military's random testing procedures and zero-tolerance policies [73]. Binge drinking has spiked since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started; in 2008, almost half of active-duty military members reported binge drinking [122]. In that same time, the use of prescription pain medications (particularly opioids) have increased; between 2001 and 2009, the number of prescriptions written by military physicians increased fourfold [122]. Because drugs and alcohol can inhibit negative feelings and disconcerting memories, it may be used to self-medicate, particularly among those who have witnessed or experienced suffering related to war and deployment.

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  24. Servicemen and women returning from deployment have a lower prevalence rate of new-onset drinking problems compared to nondeployed active-duty personnel.

    OTHER KEY SOCIAL PROBLEMS

    For military families, deployment and reintegration trigger additional stressors that can lead to substance and alcohol abuse. For example, servicemen and women returning from deployment have a higher prevalence rate of new-onset drinking problems compared to nondeployed active-duty personnel [76]. In a study examining veterans returning from Iraq, 13.9% of the veterans were determined to have probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 39% probable alcohol misuse, and 3% probable substance abuse [77]. Military members who have been in combat and who have PTSD are more likely use substances and alcohol to cope [78]. However, one study found that a clinical diagnosis of PTSD was a less important predictor of alcohol, substance, or aggressive behavioral problems than the presence of symptoms of a stress response [78].

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  25. All military personnel returning from deployment are required to complete the

    ASSESSMENT

    Military personnel returning from deployment are required to complete the Post-Deployment Health Assessment [79]. This medical screener is composed of 10 mental health questions and must be completed by a medical provider within 30 days of returning from military assignment [79]. In addition, the mental health departments in the Army and Navy use the Post-Deployment Psychological Screener, which consists of 22 questions assessing for symptoms for depression, PTSD, communication issues, interpersonal problems, alcohol abuse, and anger [79]. PTSD is commonly assessed due to the many distressing events that military personnel experience in combat. However, avoidance behaviors such as substance and alcohol abuse, withdrawing from others, and dissociating should be assessed as well [80].

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  26. The goal with visual assessment tools is to have family members tell their stories about deployment individually and describe how it brought about concerns, stresses, and challenges.

    ASSESSMENT

    Visual assessment tools can be helpful during the assessment phase. Deployment narrative maps, for example, can be used. The goal with these tools is to have family members tell their stories about deployment individually and describe how it brought about concerns, stresses, and challenges [82]. Any family challenges identified in the stories are graphically depicted on a timeline. After everyone completes their narrative, all family members are brought into a family session to review the deployment narrative maps and see how certain events triggered stress or reactions. Not only can narrative maps be used as an assessment tool but they can instigate greater communication and foster problem-solving strategies [82].

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  27. Which of the following approaches may be used to regulate emotional responses?

    INTERVENTIONS

    Interventions to teach family members and military personnel how to regulate emotional responses, such as anger, frustration, and numbness, are vital. This includes skills such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, exercise, and other deactivation activities that can decrease the intensity of stress reactions and even trauma [84]. When a deployed man or woman returns home, it is inevitable that things will have changed for the whole family. All family members will have to adapt to a "new normal" [84]. This "new normal" may mean adjusting to physical injuries and the new caregiving activities associated with new limitations. Practitioners may help the caregiving spouse engage in self-care and reduce stress [85]. During deployment, there is also a "new normal," however temporary, and the now single parent may benefit from concrete child-rearing and parenting strategies (e.g., specific scripts to use when feeling angry or tips for providing clear directions to children) [85]. Similarly, children may require assistance regulating their emotions and communicating their fears and anxieties when a parent deploys or returns home injured or traumatized [85].

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  28. Home visiting interventions have become more popular for military families in part because they reduce the stigma of public help-seeking.

    INTERVENTIONS

    Home visiting interventions have become more popular for military families in part because they reduce the stigma of public help-seeking [126]. These interventions are implemented in the home and reflect a strengths-based perspective; many help family members handle deployment, address communication challenges, cope with isolation and loneliness, and connect family members to support and resources [126].

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  29. One of the main ethical dilemmas for practitioners employed by the military is the issue of dual relationships.

    ETHICAL ISSUES

    One of the main ethical dilemmas for practitioners employed by the military is the issue of dual relationships. Practitioners working with military families often have multiple roles, which can cause ethical tension [128]. For example, counselors should have a goal of building rapport and conveying empathy, but this can be difficult if the counselor outranks the client. Alternatively, counselors are expected to act in the role of expert, but this can be difficult if he or she is subordinate to the client [128].

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  30. What is vicarious trauma?

    ETHICAL ISSUES

    Burnout refers to extreme stress experienced by practitioners that depletes emotional, mental, physical, and psychologic resources [96]. Signs of burnout include depression, physical and mental exhaustion, anger, cynicism, acting out, frustration, lack of productivity at work, and difficulty controlling feelings [97]. A practitioner experiencing burnout often feels drained or tired and at times emotionally detached from clients [96]. Vicarious trauma is defined as "the natural, consequent behaviors and emotions resulting from knowledge about a traumatizing event experienced by a significant other. It is the stress resulting from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person" [98]. Vicarious trauma can affect practitioners' beliefs about the world, others, and self, including concepts of safety, trust, control, and intimacy [99]. Hearing stories of trauma, military missions, and killings, as well as family members' anxieties and fears, can affect practitioners' worldviews, their own sense of safety and control, and sense of self [100]. Some practitioners will help deal with a military member's death and family members' loss and grief, which can ultimately raise personal reactions to death [100]. Practitioners should engage in self-care techniques, including seeking social support, spending time with friends, engaging in hobbies and recreational activities, and seeking out other professionals for consultation and professional supervision in order to address vicarious trauma and avoid burnout.

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  • Participation Instructions
    • Review the course material online or in print.
    • Complete the course evaluation.
    • Review your Transcript to view and print your Certificate of Completion. Your date of completion will be the date (Pacific Time) the course was electronically submitted for credit, with no exceptions. Partial credit is not available.