Parental Combat Injury and Early Child Development: A Conceptual Model for Differentiating Effects of Visible and Invisible Injuries
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- Gorman, L.A., Fitzgerald, H.E. & Blow, A.J. Psychiatr Q (2010) 81: 1. doi:10.1007/s11126-009-9116-4
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The injuries (physical and emotional) sustained by service members during combat influence all members of a family system. This review used a systemic framework to conceptualize the direct and indirect effects of a service member’s injury on family functioning, with a specific focus on young children. Using a meta-ethnographic approach to synthesize the health research literature from a variety of disciplines, this review makes relevant linkages to health care professionals working with injured veterans. Studies were included that examined how family functioning (psychological and physical) is impacted by parental illness; parental injury; and posttraumatic stress disorder. The synthesis of literature led to the development of a heuristic model that illustrates both direct and indirect effects of parental injury on family functioning and the development of young children. It further illustrates the contextual factors or moderating variables that buffer detrimental effects and promote family resilience. This model can be a foundation for future research, intervention, and policy.