Classmate (B. Hun)
Deployment of a Parent
One stressor for a child or adolescent is when their parent receives orders to be deployed. Depending on their parent’s job (MOS) in the military, they will receive orders a couple months out from their departure. These deployments are now lasting between nine to 12 months, but can be extended depending on circumstances surrounding the deployment. For some jobs, such as special forces, their parent could receive notice within 48 hours of departing and could be gone for at least a week to a couple months depending on the mission. While their parent is gone, the time zone is almost opposite of the child or adolescent’s time zone and the communication is not consistent.
My father was deployed off and on to Afghanistan twice, Iraq, and Africa starting when I was 14 and ending when I was about 20 years of age. During this time, it was extremely stressful and I was very emotional for the entire time he was gone. It was even more stressful when I would not hear from him at night because I knew he would be on a mission. The worry of not knowing whether he was safe was heartbreaking and kept me on edge, but when I heard from him there was an overwhelming relief and joy.
Factors Influencing Stressor
There is an increase in emotional and behavioral symptoms with children and adolescents who have a parent that is deployed overseas (Lester, Mustillo, & Wadsworth, 2016). For example, increased levels of anxiety as well as depression and anger are increased in children of parents who are deployed. It is difficult to understand why they leave to go overseas and why they cannot just stay home until they get older and have those conversations with their parents or counselors. There are quite a few factors that influence the manifestations of this adjustment including culture or family and societal factors; however, only a couple will be explored in this discussion.
The stress of a deployment is largely on not knowing whether their parent is safe, not knowing how long they will be gone, and not being able to talk frequently. Stress increases within children iwhen they are not being included in the conversation of deploying as to what is to be expected and how long the deployment will be (Cromer & Louie, 2014). For example, often children are not included in the conversation of what is to be expected during the deployment such as missing holidays and birthdays and why their parent has to miss these (Cromer & Louie, 2014). Knowing what to expect and the reason behind it will help with their stress level not being elevated from fearing the unknown. Communication during deployment is essential for children and adolescents with both the parent or guardian that is with them as well as with the parent that is deployed (Cromer & Louie, 2014).
Difficult Factor to Address
Rebecca, who is 10 years of age, is referred to counseling from her teacher and mom because she is beginning to withdraw from her friends at school; cries herself to sleep every night; and has rage explosions towards her mom at night when she does not hear from her dad. She blames her dad for “leaving” her with her mom who is hardly home for having to work and spends most of her nights drinking at home. There are many factors in this scenario that increases Rebecca’s anxiety and depression. The factor that would be the most difficult for me to address would be frustrations from not being able to communicate with their parent who is deployed.
Expectations need to be told about the communication most likely not being an everyday thing and explaining it could be because their parent is working or the internet connection is not stable. This would be difficult because it would need to be told to both the mom and dad. The communication with the parent that is deployed can either be direct or indirect. Direct includes talking on the phone or through skype and indirect includes sending letters and/or packages (Cromer & Louie, 2014). Rebecca can be encouraged to write a letter to her dad when she does not talk with him at night to write down everything she wants to tell him that happened that day.
Cromer, L. D., & Louie, A. D. (2014). Parent-child attachment during the deployment cycle: impact on reintegration parenting stress. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, (6), 496. Retrieved from https://ezp. Waldenulibrary.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgea&AN=edsgcl.398492104&site=eds-live&scope=site
Lester, P., Mustillo, S., & Wadsworth, S. M. (2016). Parental deployment and well-being in children: Results from a new study of military families. Journal of emotional and behavioral disorders, 24(2), 82-91. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1177/1063426615598766
2. Classmate (K.Rog)
Stress and Adjustment
Main Discussion Post
People consistently experience traumas and other stressors that can affect their health or wellbeing (Flamez & Sheperis, 2016). Individuals can experience an adjustment disorder based on their response to a recurring or continuous stressor (Flamez & Sheperis, 2016). Children and adolescents often act out both at home and in school when they are under undue stressed that was caused by outside forces such as divorce, death of a loved one, or forced relocation. When stressful events outweigh protective factors, even the most resilient children can develop problems (Deshpande & Pandey, 2014). If young clients don’t experience counseling as a positive dimension to their lives, they will be more likely to resist attending counseling sessions as well as resist the therapeutic processes (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2007).
The stress issue that I have chosen is divorce. Parents often overlook the impact that divorce can have on children and adolescents. When a child is used to growing up and interacting with both parents under the same roof, it is extremely traumatic and stressful when that dynamic changes. A child’s perception of divorce is based on age and gender as well as their history of stress and coping (Deshpande & Pandey, 2014). Divorce can permanently weaken the family unit and the individual relationships between the child and the parent (Deshpande & Pandey, 2014).
Cultural Influences of Divorce
Due to the innocence and immaturity of children, they struggle to process stressful events, such as divorce (Deshpande & Pandey, 2014). Their behaviors and reactions range from subtle to explosive as parental relationships are pivotal to a child’s life (Deshpande & Pandey, 2014). Most cultural differences begin with the morals and values that are instilled in children at an early age by their parents. Life experiences continue to enhance those differences in one way or another. Based on the child’s cultural influences there is a stigma that is associated with the views of divorce that greatly impact the adjustment or stress issue. There are cultures that believe that divorce is never an option. In these cases children can be chastised and ridiculed based solely on the fact that their parents divorced. This can cause not only stress to develop but also shame and humiliation.
Most Difficult Manifestation
The most difficult manifestation for me would be the cultural influence. There are so many different cultures and influences that exists that I know that I need to get additional training on other cultures. The way that an African-American twelve year old male may handle or experience divorce could be different than a Jewish twelve year old male. Learning cultural differences is imperative to be able to help diverse clients. Minorities struggle with trying to either find the balance of their cultural beliefs with American cultural beliefs or just assuming the beliefs of Americans. This can cause a huge problem for adolescents who don’t want to disappoint their parents but want to feel justified in feeling the way that they feel when going through a difficult life experience such as divorce. The more knowledge a counselor has about the historical aspect of a client’s culture, the more relevant the questions will be (Hays, 2016).
Divorce can be a very confusing time for children (Deshpande & Pandey, 2014). The stress of being split between two parents who were once in the family home can lead to undue stress on a child or adolescent. This undue stress can lead to acting out and other negative behaviors because the child or adolescent is unsure of how to cope with the divorce. Counselors should be aware of cultural factors that contribute to how stress can develop and negatively impact children.
Deshpande, A., & Pandey, N. (2014). Psychological impact of parental divorce on children: A qualitative study. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 5(10), 1201-1205.
Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and therapy (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Flamez, B., & Sheperis, C. J. (2016). Diagnosing and treating children and adolescents: A guide for clinical and school settings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). Tough kids, cool counseling: User-friendly approaches with challenging youth (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
3. Classmate (N.Pra)
Children who experience divorce or observe an unstable relationship of their parents are often diagnosed with some type of adjustment disorder. Parents who struggle with depression sometimes turn against one another, creating an environment full of hostility. In this conflict, children will internalize the feelings of their parents, and begin to exhibit their own depressive and anxious symptoms. These negative symptoms present themselves in children as early as Kindergarden (Keller, Cummings, Peterson, & Davies, 2009).
Children of Divorce
Divorce is a difficult life experience for all involved. It is a domino effect from the parents who are splitting up, to the children who are witness. This ripple effect is considered an adjustment disorder if it begins to effect each member negatively, and for a duration of time. During the separation, the worse the effects, the higher the chance the child will develop poorer attachment styles, mental illness, academic stunting, and many other long-term effects. Poor behavior can be exacerbated through more lifestyle changes, such as re-marriages, and step-siblings (Zaharychuk, 2017).
Many cultures have a strict tradition that often does not involve the intimacy of a stranger. This can become a barrier when these clients come to therapy in search of addressing issues. Those who come from more westernized countries in which divorce is more commonplace, easily fit into the American demographic. These families may be more inclined to seek marriage counseling, or individual counseling post-divorce. Families who identify with a particular culture (or who are immigrants from) non-westernized countries may shun the idea of seeking counseling, or even to even divorce. This could push the stress of the family, the inner turmoil of the parents onto the children, and push an untreated adjustment disorder into something more (Furtado, Marcén, & Sevilla, 2013).
I don’t know if there is a particular issue with the adjustment of children of divorce, but I should remain mindful of transference and counter-transference. As a child of divorce, myself, I could find myself becoming emotional involved and invested into a particular client’s story. This could interfere with the progress of the client, and the success of the therapeutic alliance. Keeping self-aware of my past experiences, and addressing any unresolved issues that may arise during treatment with my clients, will be my first priority as a counselor.
Furtado, D., Marcén, M., & Sevilla, A. (2013). Does culture affect divorce? evidence from European immigrants in the United States. Demography, 50(3), 1013–1038. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1007/s13524-012-0180-2
Keller, P. S., Cummings, E. M., Peterson, K. M., & Davies, P. T. (2009). Marital conflict in the context of parental depressive symptoms: Implications for the development of children’s adjustment problems . Social Development, 18(3), 536–555. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Zaharychuk, C. (2017). Stepmothers’ Role in Mediating Adverse Effects on Children of Divorce. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 58(5), 311–328. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1080/10502556.2017.1301738
Bottom of Form
· Flamez, B. & Sheperis, C. J. (2015). Diagnosing and treating children and adolescents: A guide for clinical and school settings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
· Keller, P. S., Cummings, E. M., Peterson, K. M., & Davies, P. T. (2009). Marital conflict in the context of parental depressive symptoms: Implications for the development of children’s adjustment problems . Social Development, 18(3), 536–555. Retrieved from Walden Library databases. © 2009 by BLACKWELL PUBLISHING. Reprinted by permission of BLACKWELL PUBLISHING via the Copyright Clearance Center.
· DSM-5 BridgeDocument: Trauma, Stress, and Adjustment
· Miller, L. D., Short, C., Garland, E. J., & Clark, S. (2010). The ABCs of CBT (cognitive behavior therapy): Evidence-based approaches to child anxiety in public school settings. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88(4), 432–439. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
· Cook, E. C., Chaplin, T. M., Sinha, R., Tebes, J. K., & Mayes, L. C. (2012). The stress response and adolescents’ adjustment: The impact of child maltreatment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(8), 1067–1077.
Hi there! Click one of our representatives below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.