Figure 4.2 Timor-Leste partners’ and comparison partners’ FACES-IV family cohesion and flexibility scores 39
Figure 5.1 Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scales for children aged four to 17 years in Timor-Leste and comparison families 55
Figure 5.2 Other Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire subscales for children aged four to 17 years in Timor-Leste and comparison families 56
Figure 6.1 Partners’ rating of the impact of military commitments on marriage or relationships, by number of deployments 72
Figure 6.2 Partners’ rating of the impact of military commitments on children, by number of deployments 73
Figure 7.1 Association between partners’ adjusted SF-12 MCS scores and QRI social support scores 98
Figure 7.2 Association between partners’ adjusted SF-12 MCS scores and QRI conflict scores 99
Figure 7.3 Association between partners’ adjusted SF-12 MCS scores and QRI depth scores 100
Figure 7.4 Sources of support used by partners during Timor-Leste deployment 110
Figure 7.5 Helpfulness of sources of support used by partners during Timor-Leste deployment 110
Figure 7.6 Barriers to seeking mental health care for the partners of ADF members 112
Figure 7.7 Positive and negative screens on the K10 and proportion of partners endorsing barriers to care 113
Figure 7.8 Positive and negative screens on the PCL-C and proportion of partners endorsing barriers to care 114
Figure 7.9 Association between adjusted SF-12 MCS scores and positive screens on the WAST 115
Figure B.1 Literature search result 163
Figure C.1 Timor-Leste Family Study focus groups—location and date 231
Figure D.1 Participant recruitment procedure 236
The Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs commissioned the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health to conduct the Timor-Leste Family Study.
The study was made possible through the participation of current and past members of the Australian Defence Force and their families. The study team thanks the study participants for sharing their information and telling their stories.
Completion of the study involved the work of a large team, and the authors acknowledge with appreciation the contribution of many individuals and groups:
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Bill Bowe, Program Manager; the Scientific Advisory Committee; and the Consultative Forum
Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health
Professor Peter Warfe, Director; past members of the Timor-Leste Family Study team (Researcher Officers Tegan Cosgrove and Elliroma Gardiner); the telephone team led by Sandra Kumskov; Dr Eva Pietrzak; and Alison Mackenzie
Military Health Outcomes Program
The investigators who shared data from participants who consented to data linkage between the program and the Family Study
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
Lyla Coorey, Deputy Director, NSW; Bernie Brown; and Anita Hansen
Defence Families of Australia
Julie Blackburn, National Convenor (since 2010); Nicole Quinn, National Convenor (2007 to 2009); Amita Tandukar, National Communications Officer; and Defence Families of Australia national delegates
Defence Community Organisation
Michael Callan, former Director General; and staff in Brisbane, Ipswich and Sydney
Department of Defence
Brigadier Stephan Rudzki and Colonel Stephanie Hodson.
In July 2009 the Department of Veterans’ Affairs commissioned The University of Queensland, Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, to conduct research into the health and wellbeing of the families of Australian Defence Force personnel deployed to Timor-Leste from 1999 to 2010. This report is the culmination of the work done in response.
During 2010 the Timor-Leste Family Study team, in conjunction with the DVA Family Study Program’s Scientific Advisory Committee, developed a comprehensive and scientifically sound methodology for conducting the research. Development of the methodology took account of material gained from focus groups and interviews, and the result was piloted to test systems and processes. Once refined, the questionnaire that had been prepared was completed by more than 4,000serving and ex-serving ADF members and partners of members. Without the generous contribution of the ADF members and their partners this report could not have been brought into the public domain. The Timor-Leste Family Study team sincerely thanks all concerned.
There are currently about 30,000 recognised partners of ADF members and more than 18,000 children under the age of 18 years in their care. The health and wellbeing of these family members is of concern to a wide range of individuals, organisations and policy makers who represent their interests. The aim of this report is to inform this community about the best ways of identifying and protecting family members who might be at risk of adverse health effects associated with deployment. Healthy families and healthy family relationships are associated with healthy serving members and contribute to the serving members’ retention, readiness and morale.
Research findings from other countries are not necessarily always applicable to the Australian context, so conducting scientifically sound, transparent and well funded research is imperative. This technical report offers a detailed examination of the research process, the analysis of data and the research findings and identifies some knowledge gaps.
The study’s development and method are explained in detail in Chapters 2 and 3. The research process involved a literature review, a review of previous research, a workshop, qualitative research, a pilot study and a large quantitative study. Guiding the study team at all times were the two research aims proposed by DVA, as follows.
Research aim 1
To determine what, if any, physical, mental, or social health impacts there are on a service member’s family from the member’s deployment to Timor-Leste.
Hypotheses related to research aim 1
1. There will be a difference between the partners of ADF members who were deployed to Timor-Leste and those who were not deployed to Timor-Leste on measures of physical, mental, and family health.
2. There will be a difference between the children of ADF members who were deployed to Timor-Leste and those who were not deployed to Timor-Leste on a measure of emotions and behaviour.
Research aim 2
To identify any risk and protective factors associated with any health impacts.
Hypotheses related to research aim 2
1. For the partners and children of ADF members, there will be associations between deployment frequency and health impacts.
2. For the partners and children of ADF members, there will be associations between identified risk and protective factors (excluding deployment frequency) and health impacts.
3. There will be associations between an ADF member’s physical, mental, and family health and their current partner’s physical, mental, and family health.
4. There will be associations between an ADF member’s physical and mental health and their child’s emotional and behavioural health.
5. There will be associations between an ADF member’s physical and mental health, their partner’s physical and mental health, and their child’s emotional and behavioural health.