(334) 844-3299
Detailed Record
Share this Article

The war at home: Consequences of loving a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

APA Citation:

Demers, A. (2009). The war at home: Consequences of loving a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Internet Journal of Mental Health, 6(1), 1-25. doi:10.5580/5ac

Abstract Created by REACH:

Research on military families is often related to Service members' spouses and children. This study explored the impact of deployment experiences on additional family members (e.g., parents and siblings) and the family members' experiences of seeking and receiving support to cope with the impact of deployment.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Air Force
Marine Corps
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:

Military families
Parent of a service member or veteran


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Empirical Study
Focus Group
Qualitative Study
Cross-Sectional Study


Demers, Anne


Objective. The experiences of parents, partners, and siblings of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans were explored, to understand the consequences of repeated deployments on participants’ mental health. Method. Purposive sampling was used. Respondents completed preliminary electronic surveys and participated in one of three focus groups. Results. High levels of relationship and psychological distress exist. Reactions and coping with deployment were split along gender lines, with females reporting anxiety and males reporting avoidance or anger. Veterans returned with significant emotional demands. The need for social and emotional support was identified. Conclusion. Similar to the experiences of spouses of veterans, extended family members are negatively impacted during deployment and reintegration. They are struggling to cope and lack the necessary skills to do so. Attempts at help seeking are unsuccessful. Recommendations include training for clinicians, school counselors and physicians to address the needs of this population, and also development of support groups for families of veterans and the veterans themselves.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Internet Scientific Publications

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

San Jose State University, AD


war, military veterans, love, military deployment, mental health, parent experiences, partner experiences, siblings, iraq war, afghanistan war

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

This website uses cookies to improve the browsing experience of our users. Please review Auburn University’s Privacy Statement for more information. Accept & Close