Objective: This paper aims to identify the key challenges experienced by the families of defence force personnel following deployment.
Method: We undertook a selective review of four post-deployment challenges to the families of defence force personnel: (1) changes to relationships; (2) changes to family member roles and responsibilities; (3) adjustment of children and parenting challenges; and (4) anger, family conflict and violence. Emerging issues in the area of post-deployment adjustment are also discussed.
Results: Empirical studies of post-deployment family adjustment are lacking. Each of the reviewed challenges can contribute to psychological difficulties and precipitate contact with mental health services.
Conclusions: The challenges faced by defence force personnel when returning from deployment arise within a family context. Clinicians should thoroughly assess these factors in families following deployment, but also recognise family strengths and resilience to these challenges.