War's Impact on Children

Department of Defense officials report that there are currently more than 1.5 million school-age children with parents in the military's active duty. Recent research studies have reported on the high rate of mental problems among returning veterans and the children of U.S. soldiers in Iraq were found to be more prone to stress compared to other youngsters.

For children who may not be directly touched by the war, the fact that the United States is currently at war can still be confusing and unsettling. They undoubtedly hear differing facts and viewpoints from teachers, parents, other children, and through the media, and might need help sorting through and making sense of all the information.

The following articles describe how children think about war, how media exposure impacts children, how military families are affected, and how parents can best talk to their children about these issues. The articles offer suggestions for parents about helping their children to cope and to better understand war and international conflict.

Recommended resource: Parent's Guide to the Military Child During Deployment and Reunion (PDF); document sponsored by the Educational Opportunities Directorate of the Department of Defense

The Trauma and Bereavement Service at the NYU Child Study Center can help children and families adjust following stressful life events, including the prolonged absence or death of a parent, close family member, or friend or a trauma. Contact the Director of this service, Dr. Michelle Pearlman, at (212) 263-2776 to learn how we can help you and your family.