The effect of military deployment on the parent-child relationship between the military member and their child less than six years of age
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This dissertation applied a quantitative method to explore the perspectives of parents in the military about their relationship with their young children and their parental stress during reunification after deployment. In order to capture these perspectives, 107 participants completed an online survey containing a demographic questionnaire, the Child-Parent Relationships Scale (Pianta, 1992) and the Parental Stress Scale (Berry & Jones, 1995). Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological perspective in which environmental systems interact to affect the developing individual, was used as a foundational theory for the study along with boundary ambiguity (Boss, 1999) and attachment theory (Ainsworth, 1978). Descriptive statistics, correlations, and MANOVAs were computed to examine relationships and significant differences between groups. Results revealed a relationship between scores on the Child-Parent Relationship Scale and the Parental Stress Scale. MANOVAs revealed significant group differences between mother and father in the military in their perception of parental stress and parent-child conflict. An examination of mean scores for groups revealed a notable difference in perceived levels of conflict and stress for mothers and fathers as well as between members of different military branches.