Parenting is hard enough when there are two to lead the way, but when a spouse is called off to combat and the other is left to raise the kids, that makes it even harder.
That's why the department of defense asked researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to study army data and look for problems that may be developing among families where one parent is away in combat. Here is what they found.
"The rate of child neglect, when a parent doesn't provide for the basic needs of the child, or doesn't supervise the child in a way that's appropriate for the child's age, was nearly four times as high during deployments compared to other times," RTI Researcher Deborah Gibbs said.
So, how can we help prevent that? The study says there is a real need for more services to families of soldiers who are deployed. In particular, a support group for military families with someone overseeing it and make sure that they're reaching all the single parents who need help.
The study is in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.