Health and Mental Health Needs of Children in US Military Families

Children in US military families share common experiences and unique challenges, including parental deployment and frequent relocation. Although some of the stressors of military life have been associated with higher rates of mental health disorders and increased health care use among family members, there are various factors and interventions that have been found to promote resilience. Military children often live on or near military installations, where they may attend Department of Defense–sponsored child care programs and schools and receive medical care through military treatment facilities. However, many families live in remote communities without access to these services. Because of this wide geographic distribution, military children are cared for in both military and civilian medical practices. This clinical report provides a background to military culture and offers practical guidance to assist civilian and military pediatricians caring for military children.

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