When Soldier-Dad Gone, Kids Risk Neglect

A large Pentagon-funded study spotlights some of the youngest victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: children of U-S soldiers.

The study done by R-T-I International in Research Triangle Park says children in some Army families are open to abuse and neglect by their mothers when their fathers are away.

The research says mothers were three times more likely to have a substantiated report of child mistreatment when their soldier-husbands were deployed than when the fathers were home. Mothers at home were nearly four times as likely to neglect their children and nearly twice as likely to physically abuse them during deployment periods.

Army officials say the study confirms what they've seen at large military bases for nearly two years: overwhelmed and depressed mothers neglecting their children.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It was first vetted by the Army.