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Impact of Policy on Children
August 10, 2020

The Need for Clinicians to Recognize Military-Connected Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 2Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 3Atlas Research, Washington, DC
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(11):1019-1020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.2548

The United States has been continuously at war for nearly 2 decades, during which time some 2.7 million Americans have answered the call to arms. Such prolonged conflict is unprecedented in US history. Also unprecedented is the number of service members of the National Guard and military Reserve forces who have left their families to deploy to the battlefields of southwest Asia. As a result of these circumstances, more than 2 million military-connected children have experienced the deployment of one or both parents, with some of these children subsequently facing the challenges of their parents returning with service-connected injuries or illnesses or not returning at all. But how many among the 99% of Americans who have not served in the military understand the challenges faced by these children? How effectively are health care professionals responding to their needs? Are these military-connected children even recognized by clinicians?

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