Objectives: We examined associations between parental military service and adolescent well-being. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the 2008 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey collected in public school grades 8, 10, and 12 (n=10606). We conducted multivariable logistic regression analyses to test associations between parental military service and adolescent well-being (quality of life, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide). Results: In 8th grade, parental deployment was associated with higher odds of reporting thoughts of suicide among adolescent girls (odds ratio [OR]=1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.19, 2.32) and higher odds of low quality of life (OR=2.10; 95% CI=1.43, 3.10) and thoughts of suicide (OR=1.75; 95% CI=1.15, 2.67) among adolescent boys. In 10th and 12th grades, parental deployment was associated with higher odds of reporting low quality of life (OR=2.74; 95% CI=1.79, 4.20), depressed mood (OR=1.50; 95% CI=1.02, 2.20), and thoughts of suicide (OR=1.64; 95% CI=1.13, 2.38) among adolescent boys. Conclusions: Parental military deployment is associated with increased odds of impaired well-being among adolescents, especially adolescent boys. Military, school-based, and public health professionals have a unique opportunity to develop school- and community-based interventions to improve the well-being of adolescents in military families.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health