Serving Military Families in the 21st Century
By Karen Rose Blaisure, Tara Saathoff-Wells, Angela Pereira, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Amy Laura Dombro
Routledge – 2012 – 314 pages
Series: Textbooks in Family Studies
This text introduces readers to military families, their resilience, and the challenges of military life. Personal stories from active duty, National Guard, reservists, veterans, and their families, from all branches and ranks of the military, and those who work with military personnel, bring their experiences to life. A review of the latest research, theories, policies, and programs better prepares readers for working with military families. Objectives, key terms, tables, figures, summaries, and exercises, including web based exercises, serve as a chapter review. The book concludes with a glossary of key terms.
Engaging vignettes are featured throughout:
· Voices from the Frontline offer personal accounts of issues faced by actual program leaders, practitioners, researchers, policy makers, service members, and their families.
· Spotlight on Research highlights the latest studies on dealing with combat related issues.
· Best Practices review the optimal strategies used in the field.
· Tips from the Frontline offer suggestions from experienced personnel.
The book opens with an introduction to military culture and family life. Joining the military and why people do so are explored in chapter 2. Next, life in the military including relocation, employment, education, and deployment are examined. Daily lives of children in military families are explored in chapter 4. How stress and resilience theories are used in working with military families are then reviewed. Chapter 6 focuses on milestones experienced by service members and programs that support them through these transitions. Everyday issues caused by the trauma of war are reviewed in Chapters 7 and 8. Programs, policies, and organizations that serve military families in dealing with deployment, education, and health and child care are explored in chapters 9 and 10 followed by initiatives supporting reintegration and reunification issues. Next, how to work with families and those who have experienced traumatic events is considered. The book concludes with a review of career opportunities and stories from working professionals.
Intended as a text for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses on military families or as a supplement for courses on the family, marriage and family, stress and coping, or family systems taught in family studies, human development, clinical or counseling psychology, sociology, social work, and nursing, this book also appeals to helping professionals who work with military families.
"As a former military service member, I can say that this is the first book I have discovered that conveys a true-to-life picture of living the military lifestyle from the perspective of the active duty member, family member, and veteran. Practitioners, researchers and students will derive enormous benefit from the authors’ expertise and insight concerning this unique and dedicated group of men and women." - PsycCRITIQUES
“Our military and their families deserve informed support practices and this volume is the resource for those efforts. The authors have expertly crafted the most engaging and comprehensive collection of “usable” information on military families ever created. This is an essential read for every course on human services and family studies and for every human services provider.”- Francesca Adler-Baeder, Auburn University, USA
“This book fills an important educational gap and will help students and others gain the understanding they need to be sensitive to the needs of the military families they will encounter in their future work.” - Joyce Wessel Raezer, National Military Family Association, USA
“…A must-have primer for anyone working with military service members and families. Gaining fluency in military culture and context is an essential first step in being able to effectively serve those who continue to serve us.” - Angela J. Huebner, Virginia Tech, USA
“Without compromise to academic standards the authors succeed at narrating applicable knowledge that will benefit professionals, practitioners and partners of military service personnel as well as soldiers themselves. The book is a good read!” - Rene Moelker, Netherlands Defense Academy, The Netherlands
“This innovative and practical book offers a wide range of topics on military families and is ideal for students and practitioners. This crucial textbook should be on the desk of every military family therapist!” - James G. Daley, Indiana University School of Social Work, USA
“…A must-read for mental health professionals, teachers, and others who work with military families. The rich mix of first-person experiences combined with coverage of key issues is superb. I loved the chapters I read.” - Michelle L. Kelley, Old Dominion University, USA
"Serving Military Families in the 21st Century offers a wealth of information about working with military families. I recommend this book as a resource both for behavioral health providers working military families as well as for those interested in beginning to do so." - Dr. Marjorie Weinstock, Center for Deployment Psychology, USA
R. Milardo, Foreword. 1. An Introduction to Military Culture and Military Families. 2. An Overview of Military Personnel and Their Families. 3. Defining Features of Military Family Life. 4. Children and Youth in Military Families. 5. Ways of Thinking about Family Stress and Resilience. 6. Individual and Family Development in the Military. 7. The Effects of War on Service Members. 8. The Effects of War on Families. 9. Military Support for Military Families: Military Policies and Programs. 10. Civilian Supports for Military Families. 11. Supporting Military Families: Recent and New Programs. 12. Supporting Military Families; Applying Theory and Research to Practice. 13. Serving Military Families.
Karen R. Blaisure, a licensed marriage and family therapist and a certified family life educator, is a professor of family studies in the department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Western Michigan University. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Family and Child Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1992. Her research focuses on U.S. and international educational and policy initiatives for families experiencing separation and divorce. She teaches Family Life and the Military for students in the helping professions. From 1986 to 1989 she worked as a program specialist and an education services supervisor and in 1992 as a special project consultant at the Navy Family Services Center in Norfolk, Virginia. In these roles she facilitated programs on deployment, reunion, children, and parenting. She has presented on military families to many professional groups and has written about the Navy’s Return and Reunion program.
Tara Saathoff-Wells is a faculty member in the Department of Child, Family and Community Sciences at the University of Central Florida. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Alabama in 2000. From 1989 through 1994, she worked in Kenya and Mozambique with both indigenous and U.S. expatriate populations. As a doctoral student, she completed an internship with the U.S. Department of State in the Family Liaison Office, the primary family and child resource and support office for U.S. diplomatic families. Dr. Saathoff-Wells is a former faculty member in Human Development and Family Studies at Central Michigan University where she taught a course on Military Family Life and served as Director of the Women’s Studies Program. In 2010 Dr. Blaisure and Dr. Saathoff-Wells team-taught their respective courses coordinating lectures, videos, guest speakers, class discussions and field trips. The classes were linked by compressed video interactive technology (CVIT).
Colonel Angela Pereira U.S. Army, Retired, is a consultant and educator on psychological health and military life issues, having completed a distinguished career in the military. She is a member of the External Advisory Council of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. She previously served as the U.S. Army’s regional mental health consultant and director of the U.S. Army Europe Regional Medical Command’s Solider and Family Support Services in Heidelberg, Germany; as a member of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health; as director of the Combat Stress Control/Mental Health Clinic at Abu Ghraib, Iraq; as director of education and training on health and wellness at the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine; and as the division social worker for the Third Armored Division during Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Board-certified in clinical social work, she earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Pereira’s many honors include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal and the Order of Military Medical Merit.
Shelley M. MacDermid Wadsworth is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University, where she also directs the Military Family Research Institute and the Center for Families, and serves as Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 1990. Her research focuses on relationships between job conditions and family life, with special focus on military families and organizational policies, programs and practices. A fellow of the National Council on Family Relations and a recipient of the Work Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Institute, Dr. MacDermid Wadsworth served as the civilian co-chair of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health, and currently serves on the Psychological Health External Advisory Committee of the Defense Health Board and the Returning Veterans Committee of the Institute of Medicine.
Amy Laura Dombro develops resources to assist teachers, family support professionals and community leaders in making positive change for children and families. She received her MS in Infant and Family Development from the Bank Street College of Education in 1978. Former head of the Bank Street Infant and Family Center, Amy works with and for national organizations including the Military Family Research Institute, ZERO TO THREE, The What to Expect Foundation and Families and Work Institute to translate information so that it is engaging and easy to use. In addition, she often documents stories of successes, challenges and lessons learned so that readers can benefit from the experiences of others. Her recent publications include: Powerful Interactions: How to Connect with Children to Extend Their Learning, and Honoring Our Babies and Toddlers: Supporting Young Children Affected by a Military Parent’s Deployment, Injury or Death.