For members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), returning from a military deployment can be a challenging time, particularly for those with young families.

It can be difficult to return to the rhythm of family life and to reconnect after a long period away.
With approximately 29,000 members of the ADF having dependent children, ensuring that deployment does not negatively impact parent-child relationships is an issue that demands attention.

Alixandra Risi, who is undertaking a PhD in Clinical Psychology with the School of Psychology at the University of Wollongong (UOW), is investigating the post-deployment experiences of military families.

Ms Risi said research into the subject was limited and mostly focused within the American context.

“The small body of research available highlights that military families with young children face unique psychological and relational challenges during the post-deployment period,” she said.

“We need to better understand the post-deployment experiences of ADF families, not only to close the gap in our understanding of the military family experience, but also to directly inform interventions that can improve outcomes for ADF families.”

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