Serving Military Families Theories Research and Application 2 edition

by Karen Rose Blaisure

Author Karen Rose Blaisure Isbn File size 3MB Year 2015 Pages 435 Language Englisch File format PDF Category Family and Friendship Anyone working or wishing to work with the military would benefit from this book I will continue to use it as a supplemental text It should be in every social work school s library The proposed changes are good and timely especially expansion on veterans and women service members and same sex couples Josephine Pryce University of Alabama USA

Publisher :

Author : Karen Rose Blaisure

ISBN :

Year : 2015

Language: Englisch

File Size : 3MB

Category : Family and Friendship



Serving Military Families
This text introduces readers to the unique culture of military families, their resilience, and the
challenges of military life. Personal stories from nearly 70 active duty, reservists, veterans, and
their families from all branches and ranks of the military, practitioners, and researchers bring
their experiences to life. A review of the latest research, theories, policies, and programs better
prepares readers for understanding and 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. Readers learn about diverse careers within which
they can make important differences for families. 
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, veterans, 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.
Updated throughout including the latest demographic data, the new edition also features:
• New chapter (9) on women service members that addresses the accomplishments and
challenges faced by this population, including sexual bias and assault, and combatrelated psychological disorders.
• New chapter (10) on veterans and families looks at veterans by era (e.g., World War II),
each era’s signature issues and how those impact programs and policies, and challenges
veterans may face, such as employment, education, and mental and physical health
issues.
• Two new, more comprehensive and cohesive chapters (11 and 12) review military and
civilian programs, policies, and organizations that support military and veteran families.
• Additional information on traumatic brain injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,
the deployment cycle, stress and resilience, the possible negative effects of military life
on families, same-sex couples and their children, and the recent increase in suicides in
the military.
• More applied cases and exercises that focus on providing services to military families. 
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 science, human development, clinical or counseling psychology, sociology, social
work, and nursing, this book also appeals to helping professionals who work with military and
veteran families.
Karen Rose Blaisure is a Professor at Western Michigan University where she teaches a course
on Family Life and the Military. Tara Saathoff-Wells is a Research and Evaluation Scientist for
the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at the Pennsylvania State University. Angela
Pereira is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and a consultant and educator on psychological health
and military life issues. Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth is Professor of Human Development
and Family Studies and Director of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University.
Amy Laura Dombro is a writer who develops resources for teachers, family support professionals,
and community leaders to assist military and veteran families and children.

Textbooks in Family Studies Series
The Textbooks in Family Studies Series is an interdisciplinary series that
offers cutting edge textbooks in family studies and family psychology.
Volumes can be complete textbooks and/or supplementary texts for
the undergraduate and/or graduate markets. Both authored and edited
volumes are welcome. Please contact the series editor, Robert Milardo at
[email protected], for details in preparing a proposal that should include
the goal of the book, table of contents, an overview of competing texts,
the intended market including course name(s) and level, and suggested
reviewers.
These are the books currently in the series:
Father-Daughter Relationships: Contemporary Research and Issues
written by Linda Nielsen (2012)
Stepfamilies: A Global Perspective on Research, Policy and Practice written
by Jan Pryor (2014)
Serving Military Families: Theories, Research, and Application, Second
Edition written by Karen Rose Blaisure, Tara Saathoff-Wells,
Angela Pereira, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, and Amy Laura
Dombro (2016)
Evidence-based Approaches to Relationship and Marriage Education
edited by James J. Ponzetti, Jr. (2016)
Evidence-based Parenting Education: A Global Perspective edited by
James J. Ponzetti, Jr. (2016)
Evidence-based Approaches to Sexuality Education: A Global Perspective
edited by James J. Ponzetti, Jr. (2016)

Serving Military Families
Theories, Research,
and Application
Second Edition

Karen Rose Blaisure
Western Michigan University

Tara Saathoff-Wells
Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State

Angela Pereira
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth
Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University

Amy Laura Dombro

First published 2016
by Routledge
711 Th ird Avenue, New York, NY 10017
and by Routledge
27 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 2FA
Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business
© 2016 Taylor & Francis
The right of Karen Rose Blaisure, Tara Saathoff-Wells, Angela Pereira, Shelley MacDermid
Wadsworth, and Amy Laura Dombro to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by
them in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by
any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying
and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from
the publishers.
First edition published by Routledge © 2012
Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are
used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Blaisure, Karen.
[Serving military families in the 21st century.]
Serving military families : theories, research, and application / authored by Karen Rose Blaisure,
Tara Saathoff-Wells, Angela Pereira, Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, and Amy Laura Dombro.—
Second edition.
pages cm — (Services in the family series)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Families of military personnel—Services for—United States. 2. Families of military personnel—
United States. 3. United States—Armed Forces—Military life. I. Title.
UB403.S52 2015
355.1′20973—dc23
2015004175
ISBN: 978-1-138-84124-6 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-1-138-84125-3 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-1-315-73234-3 (ebk)
Typeset in New Caledonia
by Apex CoVantage, LLC

To all members and veterans of the U.S. military and their families for
their personal sacrifices, their dedication to duty, and their patriotism.

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Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Authors
1

xi
xiii
xv
xvii
xxiii
xxv

An Introduction to Military Culture and Military Families
Introduction
Why Focus on Military and Veteran Families?
Understanding the Role of the Military
The Culture of the Military
Appreciation for the Strengths of and Challenges Faced
by Military Families
Steps Taken to Make Military Life More Family-Friendly
Applying What You Learn
Summary
Exercises

1
2
2
3
9
17
18
19
19
20

2

An Overview of Military Personnel and Their Families
Introduction
Joining, Staying in, and Separating From the Military
Description of Service Personnel
Description of Military Families
Families of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Military Service Members
Summary
Exercises

23
24
25
29
33
41
46
46

3

Defining Features of Military Family Life
Introduction
The Sense of Community
Duty First
Relocations
Spouse Education and Employment
Separation
Risk of Injury or Death
Summary
Exercises

49
50
51
52
53
56
58
67
69
70

4

Children and Youth in Military Families
Introduction

73
74
vii

viii

CONTENTS

Relocation
Child Care
Education
Deployment
Parental Injury and Death
Summary
Exercises

75
78
80
83
94
96
97

5

Ways of Thinking About Family Stress and Resilience
Introduction
The Study of Stress and Resilience
Theories and Models of Stress and Resilience
Translating Theory into Practice
Summary
Exercises

99
100
103
109
120
127
127

6

Individual and Family Development in the Military
Introduction
Young Adulthood and Work-Based Supports in Military Life
Family Development in Early and Middle Adulthood and Work-Based
Supports in Military Life
Understanding Research About Risk and Resilience
Recent Research on Risk and Resilience in Service Members
Transitioning out of the Military
Separation Due to Disability Evaluation and Rating
Types and Characterization of Separations
Supports for Transitioning out of the Military
Colleges and Universities as Options during and after Service
Summary
Exercises

129
130
131

7

The Effects of War on Service Members
Introduction
Physical Effects of War on Service Members
Traumatic Brain Injury
Psychological Effects of War on Service Members
Other Consequences of Combat Deployments on Service Members
Summary
Exercises

161
162
162
164
166
176
178
179

8

The Effects of War on Families
Introduction
The Deployment–Reintegration Cycle and Family Well-Being
Combat-Injured Families
Evidence-Based Programming to Help Families Reconnect
Families Overcoming Under Stress
Understudied Relationships and Directions for Future Research
Summary
Exercises

181
182
183
193
198
200
201
209
210

9

Women in the Military and Women Veterans
Introduction

211
212

134
139
141
149
150
151
152
153
158
159

CONTENTS

Some Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of
Women Veterans
Concerns Impacting Women in the Military and Women Veterans
Women Veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs
Raising the Glass Ceiling
Summary
Exercises

215
215
226
227
228
229

10

Veterans and Families
Introduction
Five Eras of Combat Veterans
Implications of Retirement or Separation for Veteran Families
Caring for Wounded and Aging Veterans
Organizations
Summary
Exercises

231
234
235
248
249
252
256
256

11

Policies and Programs that Support Military Families
Introduction
Military Infrastructure
Policies that Support Military Families
Comprehensive Department of Defense Resources for Military Families
Additional Resources for Military Families in Distress
Special Programs for Identified or Potential Problems
Programs Designed to Help Families Deal with Deployments and
Their Consequences
Programs and Policies Designed to Support National Guard and Reserve
Members and Their Families
Health Care
Tricare
Programs that Reflect a New View of Psychological Health
Respect-Mil
Education, Child Care, and Youth Programs
Other Quality of Life Programs and Services
Summary
Exercises

259
260
261
262
264
266
268

12

Civilian Organizations that Support Military Families
Introduction
Organizations Created to Serve Military Families and Service Members
Assisting Military Members and Their Families to Reintegrate and Reunite
Collaborative Endeavors to Provide Services for Military Families
Continuing Education for Civilian Professionals
Summary
Exercises

287
288
289
292
298
305
305
306

13

Involving Families in Systems and Strategies of Care
Introduction
Toward Family-Focused Systems of Care
Providing Care and Treatment
Technological Advancements
Caring for Injured Service Members and Veterans

307
308
308
313
328
329

269
273
277
277
278
280
281
284
285
285

ix

x

CONTENTS

14

Death of Service Members: Family Responses and Resources
Summary
Exercises

330
333
333

Serving Military Families
Introduction
The Many Paths to Serving Military Families
Supporting Military Families in Your Community
Careers
Promoting Compassion Satisfaction
Summary
Exercises

335
336
337
342
344
345
348
348

Acronyms
Glossary
References
Author Index
Subject Index

349
353
365
395
403

Figures
1.1
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
5.1
5.2
10.1

The chain of command
Active duty and selected reserve military family status FY 2013
Estimated percent of active duty who divorced in 2000 and 2013
Estimated percent of selected reserve who divorced in 2000 and 2013
Percent of children by age groups FY 2013
Adaptation of the Double ABCx Model to military families and deployment
Simplified composite life cycle model
Era of service by gender

12
36
38
38
39
115
125
236

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Tables
1.1 Reserve Component Categories
2.1 Comparison of the Percent and Proportion of Recruits and 18–24 YearOld Civilians by Race and Ethnicity FY 2011
2.2 Number and Percent of Active Duty Personnel by Branch of Service
as of September 30, 2014
2.3 Number and Percent of Active Duty and Selected Reserve Personnel
by Branch FY 2013
2.4 Percent of Active Duty and Selected Reserve Who Are Women FY 2013
2.5 Percent of Military Members who Identify as a Racial Minority
by Branch FY 2013
2.6 Percent of Active Duty and Selected Reserve Personnel by Race FY 2013
2.7 Percent of Married Active Duty and Selected Reserve by Sex in 2013
3.1 Logan’s (1987) Proposed Emotional Cycle of Deployment
3.2 Percentage of Spouses at Home Reporting Problems Experienced to
a Large or a Very Large Extent During the Most Recent Deployment
3.3 Percentage of Spouses at Home Reporting Item as Important or Very
Important to Coping with the Most Recent Deployment
5.1 An Adapted Version of the Stress Continuum
6.1 Civilian Full-Time, Year-Round Mean Earnings by Age and Educational
Attainment in FY 2013
6.2 Examples of Mean Monthly and Yearly Basic Pay by Rank and Years
of Service in FY 2014 (Most Common Young Adult Ranks Shown)
6.3 Average Age at Birth of First Child in FY 2013 by Service Branch
and Component
7.1 DoD/VA Severity Determination Factors for Non-penetrating TBI
7.2 Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
7.3 Symptoms of Common Psychological Disorders Associated with
Combat Deployment
7.4 Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptom
Similarities
10.1 Marital Status by Era of Veteran Population (FY 2012)
10.2 Mass U.S. Military Mobilizations: Civil War through Post-9/11

8
26
29
30
31
32
32
36
60
65
66
122
133
133
137
165
169
172
173
235
247

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Foreword
An extraordinary team of talented scholars and practitioners authored the first edition,
Serving Military Families in the 21st Century. This second edition comprises 14 chapters
including a new chapter on women in the military and women veterans, and a new chapter
on veterans and their families. The remaining chapters include updated demographics
on service members and their families, expanded descriptions of mental health programs
available to military families, and new interviews with an array of active military, family
members, researchers and service providers.
This book serves as an introduction to military families and the effects of military service on adults, their relationships, and their children. Relatively few individuals served on
active duty in the last decade, in fact much less than 1% of the U.S. population.1 And perhaps not surprisingly, about eight-in-ten veterans say the American public doesn’t understand the problems faced by those in the military or their families. By and large the public
agrees; they don’t understand. This book aims to correct the gap in understanding families
with active military members as well as families with recent veterans. There is good reason
to do so.
The experience of veterans commands our attention as many, but not all, report challenges in readjusting to civilian life following service. Nearly half of veterans report experiencing strains in family life after leaving the military, 47% say they have frequent outbursts
of anger, and nearly a third (32%) report there are times when they didn’t care about anything. For those who experience combat, the appearance of psychological and relational
problems is disconcerting with over half reporting emotional trauma and many reporting
reliving distressing experiences in the form of flashbacks or sleep disturbances. About onein-six recent veterans report experiencing serious injuries while serving in the military and
most of those injuries are combat related. Nearly half report knowing someone who was
killed while in the military.
Coupled with these statistics is the changing face of the military over recent decades.
Service members are far more likely to be married (about 53%) than was the case in
the past (about 41% in 1973), and they are more likely to be married than civilians of
comparable ages.2 These are sobering statistics and they challenge students of families to
enrich our understanding of those who serve and their relationships with intimate partners, children, and extended kin. Recent work in the field, and a new chapter in this book,
evidences the changing roles of women in the military and the core challenges they face.
The 14 chapters in this volume provide an extensive primer on military culture and
family life, essential background for chapters that address a variety of issues including
detailed descriptions of the many programs developed for individuals and families. The
presentation spans an array of ordinary challenges facing all families in their development and maintenance, as well as challenges that are unique to military families. The
1

2

Taylor, P. (ed.). (2011). The military-civilian gap: War and sacrifi ce in the post-9/11 era. Washington, DC: Pew
Social & Demographic Trends.
Lundquist, J., & Xu, Z. (2014). Reinstitutionalizing families: Life course policy and marriage in the military.
Journal of Marriage & Family, 76, 1063–1081.
xv

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FOREWORD

unique challenges of military families include frequent relocations, separations and long
deployments in difficult conditions, combat injury, and violent death all of which can have
profound effects on children, spouses, parents, and extended kin. And while many current
and former soldiers experience difficulties, many do not and clearly demonstrate resilience
in their personal and family lives. Recent veterans, for instance, report levels of personal
happiness and satisfaction in their family lives comparable to the general public. In this
volume, the authors wisely present a balanced perspective that neither omits addressing
the challenges of military life, nor fails to appreciate resiliency and the benefits of participation in a culture of service.
Robert M. Milardo, PhD
Professor of Family Relations,
University of Maine
Series Editor

Preface
We are proud to have the opportunity to write a second edition of Serving Military
Families. It allows us to update information about service members and families. It also
allows us to bring veterans and their families into the conversation.
Serving in the military is not just a job. There is a sense of calling, a depth of feeling
that service and family members have, often for generations. As Lieutenant Colonel Jessica
Milam, Deputy Chief, Air Force Diversity Operations explains, “The military culture has
a core value of service before self. When the nation calls, we understand it is an honor to
serve. This shared value creates a strong bond and culture within the military and places
a unique responsibility on military families. Understanding these and other realities of
military life and acknowledging them to service members and their families are essential
in supporting military families in your personal life and professional life.”
Given this sense of calling and the strong bond and culture within the military, it follows that the transition from military to civilian life is a major life event full of promise
for the future yet full of loss—of a mission, culture, and strong bonds. According to the
National Center of Veterans Analysis and Statistics, approximately 21.3 million Americans
are veterans. Veterans alive today have served during five conflict eras beginning with
World War II up until the present time. Lieutenant Colonel Milam’s comments about supporting service members holds true for supporting veterans and for their families. If we
are going to support veterans and veteran families in our personal and professional lives,
we have to understand the realities of becoming and being a veteran and a veteran family.
If you are reading this book, you are likely supporting or hope to support service members and their families or veterans and their families in your career. You and others who
do this work often share a sense of calling. You may be a college student preparing to work
with military families. Or you may already be established in your career as a social worker,
teacher, child-care provider, nurse or physician, lawyer, counselor, law enforcement officer, writer, or researcher. You may work in a university setting or a civilian social service
agency where you sometimes meet and work with military and veteran family members,
perhaps more often than you used to. Or you may work in an organization that has as its
mission to serve military and/or veteran families. Perhaps you are a member of a military
or veteran family. When we consider the 21.3 million veterans and 2.2 million service
members in the U.S. and their families, the chances are that whatever you do or will do,
and wherever you do it, you will end up serving members of military and veteran families.
That means each day you have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those
who have sacrificed or are currently sacrificing so much for the rest of us.
In this book you will find information and research about military and veteran families
that you can use to build your knowledge base about their lives and the military culture.
You will learn about how much military and veteran families have in common with civilian
families as well as issues specific to military and veteran families.
You will have the chance to meet people who study and work with military and veteran
families, as well as those who make policy and design programs and those who are family
members themselves. As so many of them have said to us, “No one can ever know it all
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PREFACE

when it comes to military and veteran families, but if you can listen and ask questions with
genuine curiosity and respect and with the intent to serve, families will help fill in the gaps
of what you need to know.” You will learn how service members share commonalities and
how they differ in their experiences of military service. You will learn how military life
may impact families differently. You will learn how veterans from different eras, fighting
different wars understand one another. You will learn how the implications of serving in
the military can vary across the life span.
In addition, you will learn about services available to military and veteran families
from both the military and civilian sectors. There comes a time when every family needs
support of one kind or another. Yet, just because services exist and individuals and organizations are committed to supporting families, it doesn’t necessarily mean that families are
being served or that they are receiving the support they need when they do connect with a
program or service provider. To take advantage of the support offered, a person must know
about and understand the services being offered and be able to negotiate the method by
which to access those services. Yet, the wide array of services offered by the military, federal, state, and local governments, and the community—both in–person or online—can
be overwhelming to negotiate at the best of times. When a family is experiencing stress, no
matter the reason, it can be even more of a challenge.
If and how one begins to search for support can depend on a variety of factors including one’s culture, personal style, mental health, access to a computer and/or transportation, and past experiences with seeking support. In military and veteran families, stigma
may be an obstacle, as seeking help can be viewed as a weakness and, in the case of a current service member, as a potential threat to their career.
Creating positive change for military and veteran families means building bridges
between families and the support they need. It means building bridges between what we
know and what we do. To these ends, throughout this book you will find a series of features
filled with information you can tailor to the unique strengths and needs of the diverse
families you work with. These include:
• Spotlight on Research: Here you will find the work of researchers who are working to learn more about military and veteran families with the goal of informing and enriching the work of practitioners like you. As you will see, there are
many areas in regards to military families—such as how families deal with a service member’s death due to combat—that we still have much to learn about. Our
knowledge of veteran families is largely based on what we know about veterans
and their experiences as they transition into and experience civilian life. If you are
a researcher or planning to go into research, there is plenty of work to be done.
• Best Practices: This feature includes accepted strategies from the field.
• Voices From the Frontline: In this feature you will find stories of support
program leaders, practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and most importantly
service members and veterans and their families. Each has generously shared
their personal experiences, successes, challenges, and insights from a moment
in time. By the time you are reading this book, their stories will have taken new
paths. Like the family members you will (or already do) work with—and members of your family and ours—each is a unique individual in a unique family
constellation.
• Tips from the Frontline: In these sections, you will find concrete, hands-on
suggestions based on the experiences and wisdom of people you met in this book.
As you read, we predict that you will not only learn about military families but, like some
of the people you meet in the following pages (including some of the authors), you will
learn something about yourself, your assumptions and stereotypes about the military and

PREFACE

our country. Being open to learning, not only about others but about yourself as well, is a
key ingredient to being an effective provider of family support, no matter your role.
We think you will be inspired too by the families you meet as Shelley, one of the
authors of this book, was the day she walked into a small office at the Pentagon: “The walls
were covered with sheets filled with writing. I asked a senior-level person what was going
on. The Secretary of Defense had given a small team three weeks to figure out how to get
every child in Iraq back to school. They were busy solving a problem no one had ever
tackled before.” Like these professionals, every day military and veteran family members
are faced with problems they may never have tackled before.
DoD needs a workforce of people to support military families and veterans. As a country, we need a sustainable support network for military and veteran families long after our
troops come home.
To help you meet your goal of making a positive difference in the lives of military and
veteran families, this second edition includes the following updates and additions:
• A new chapter on women in the military and women veterans.
• A new chapter on veterans and veteran families.
• The three chapters on programs and services in the first edition have been integrated into two chapters to make it easier to obtain a sense of the landscape of
possibilities and support families in making connections.
• Updated demographics and descriptions of service members, veterans, and their
families.
• Expanded descriptions of mental health treatment approaches with a focus on
including family members.
• Twenty-two new interviews with family members, researchers, and clinicians to
bring the new topics above to life.
• Updated exercises focused on providing services to military and veteran families.
In Chapter 1, you will be introduced to the military culture and military families. You
will meet Colonel Angela Pereira, U.S. Army, Retired, one of the co-authors of this book
who grew up in a military family and provided psychological health care to troops in Iraq
before retiring. This chapter discusses the role of the military in our country and the
strengths and challenge of military families.
Chapter 2 describes requirements to join the military and factors that lead people to do
so. It will paint pictures for you of service personnel, active duty and selected reserve by
branch and discuss what we know and do not know about military families.
Chapter 3 describes features of military life, including a sense of community; the priority of the military mission; relocation; spouse employment and education; and separation
due to temporary duty, deployment, or death of the service member.
In Chapter 4, we take a closer look at children and youth in military families. Among
the people you will meet is Connery Otto, a high school senior, who talks about “growing up military.” This chapter looks at young peoples’ experiences of moving and going to
child care and school. Randy Ott, now an adult, shares his perspective looking back on his
childhood in a military family. This chapter then turns its focus to the impact of parental
deployment on children’s behavior and psychological wellbeing and ways to support children with parental deployment, injury, and death.
Chapter 5 will ground you in theories about stress and resilience, providing you with
a framework to shape your attitudes and approach to your work with military and veteran families. You will see that, at times, families are suffering and may need specialized intervention. But you will also see that dealing with challenging times can be an
opportunity for families to recognize and draw upon their strengths and to grow. In the
words of Froma Walsh, PhD, who you will meet: “What is remarkable is the potential for

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