Evaluation of a Multimedia Intervention for Children and Families Facing Multiple Military Deployments
Repeated military deployments have been a common experience for many military families in the past 15 years. While there has been an increase in research and intervention focused on the effects on families of military deployments, much of this work has not focused specifically on the particular needs of young children. Talk, Listen, Connect: Multiple Deployments (TLC-II MD), a multimedia kit designed for home use, is among the first interventions directed toward young children. Created by Sesame Workshop and using popular Sesame Street characters, TLC-II MD was designed to support and equip families with young children with skills to address challenges associated with multiple deployments. This study utilized a randomized experimental design to evaluate the impact of TLC-II MD relative to a control condition using a Sesame Workshop multimedia kit not tailored to military families. Parents in both groups reported that children enjoyed the video overall and watched it repeatedly. Also in both groups, caregivers’ depressive symptoms and children’s aggressive behaviors declined significantly over time. Caregivers in the test group reported significantly larger increases in comfort discussing the deployment with their child and stronger perceptions that the DVD helped children to cope. Thus, the resilience-oriented materials were helpful to both groups, but those tailored to military families were significantly more likely to be perceived as helpful. Findings offer evidence regarding the ability of multimedia self-administered interventions to assist military families.
KeywordsChildren Deployment Family Intervention Military Multimedia
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