With Parent Away at War, Child Abuse Increases

Stressed women more likely to mistreat kids
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2007 8:04 PM CDT
Valerie Lauer, left, and Deb Lauer, of Meadville, Pa., wife and mother (respectively) of Army Spc. Timothy Lauer, react during a memorial ceremony in Harrisburg, Pa., Saturday, May 12, 2007, honoring...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Incidents of child abuse and neglect rise significantly when the Army's deployment of one spouse to war leaves the other worried at home, a study finds. An Army-funded report found female spouses four times more likely than males to mistreat their children; the Army has beefed up family-support services to help deal with the issue.

Overall, maltreatment—which can have long-term health consequences for victims—by males and females rose by 40% when one spouse was in combat, the LA Times reports. The most common form of mistreatment was neglect, ranging from lack of supervision to abandonment; emotional and physical abuse, a province of male soldiers, was found to decline during deployments.