Children From Military Families More Likely to Smoke, Drink, and be Violent

October 9, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. engage / ɛnˈgeɪdʒ/ (v.) – to get into or start doing an activity
Example: I never want to engage in a fight with you.

2. risky /ˈrɪs ki/ (adj.) – involving something that is dangerous
Example: It is risky to carry a gun in public.

3. violence /ˈvaɪ ə ləns/ (n.) – the act or condition of using physical strength to hurt someone
Example: He was taught to never resolve conflict through violence.

4. threaten / ˈθrɛt n/ (v.) – to say that one will harm or hurt someone
Example: He threatened me with a knife.

5. determine / dɪˈtɜr mɪn/ (v.) – to decide on a certain matter
Example: They could not determine what was bothering the student.


Read the text below.
A study suggests that children with military parents or caregivers have a higher tendency to engage in smoking, drinking, and carrying weapons compared with other children.

The lead researcher said that this may be caused by war-related stressors, which include having a loved one sent to war, having to move frequently, being bullied, and having friends with risky behavior. The researchers looked into survey results from 2013. The survey involved almost 690,000 public school students from grades 7 to 11 in California.

The researchers found that the students who suffered from harassment or violence amounted to more than half of all the surveyed students. Around one in ten children also admitted to carrying a weapon to school.

However, children with parents from the military carried a weapon more than twice as much as the others. They also had a higher possibility of being threatened with one. Results also showed that 45% to 73% of military children were more likely to engage in smoking, drinking, using marijuana, and abusing prescription drugs.

In addition, children who were related to someone in the military were more likely to express living in fear of being abused. They also had a higher rate of experiencing harassment and cyberbullying.

An earlier study was done in the United States to determine the effects of military service on the children of service members. It revealed that very young children may experience extreme worry over being separated from a parent. Among children aged 6 to 11, having a family member in the military can negatively impact school performance, while adolescents tend to be angrier than usual.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the other reasons why children from military families get into smoking, drinking, or violence?
·         Do you think children with military parents have harder childhood than those who don’t? Justify your answer.

Discussion B

·         How can children be discouraged from bad habits such as smoking and drinking?
·         What other bad habits should children be discouraged from? 

October 9, 2015