Risk and Resilience in U.S. Military Families

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Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, David S. Riggs
Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 3, 2010 - Psychology - 369 pages
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War related separations challenge military families in many ways. The worry and uncertainty associated with absent family members exacerbates the challenges of personal, social, and economic resources on the home front. U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have sent a million service personnel from the U.S. alone into conflict areas leaving millions of spouses, children and others in stressful circumstances. This is not a new situation for military families, but it has taken a toll of magnified proportions in recent times. In addition, medical advances have prolonged the life of those who might have died of injuries. As a result, more families are caring for those who have experienced amputation, traumatic brain injury, and profound psychological wounds. The Department of Defence has launched unprecedented efforts to support service members and families before, during, and after deployment in all locations of the country as well as in remote locations. Stress in U.S. Military Families brings together an interdisciplinary group of experts from the military to the medical to examine the issues of this critical problem. Its goal is to review the factors that contribute to stress in military families and to point toward strategies and policies that can help. Covering the major topics of parenting, marital functioning, and the stress of medical care, and including a special chapter on single service members, it serves as a comprehensive guide for those who will intervene in these problems and for those undertaking their research.

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Introduction Military Families under Stress What We Know and What We Need to Know
Marital Functioning
Parenting and Child Outcomes
Family Sequelae of Wounds and Injuries
Single Service Members

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About the author (2010)

Dr. Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth is a professor of Child Development and Family Studies. She serves as director of the Center for Families at Purdue University, as well as director of the Military Family Research Institute. The primary focus of Professor MacDermid's research is the connection between work conditions and family life. She is particularly interested in links among work-family tension, marriage, and parenting, and she has studied workplaces as contexts for adult development. Her research has been published in several journals, including Journal of Marriage and the Family; Journal of Family Issues; and, Family Relations. She has received research funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Cooperative Extension Service, and the State of Indiana. In 1996, Professor MacDermid became the director of The Center for Families at Purdue University. Through the Center, she founded and now directs a membership organization focusing on family issues for employers in the Midwestern region. She has served as co-director of Military Families Research Institute since 1999. Professor MacDermid is the author of more than 90 invited or refereed research articles, chapters, books, and scientific presentations. Her research has won one national award, and she recently received the Award of Merit from the local chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta. Professor MacDermid has been an associate editor of two scientific journals, a member of the editorial boards for two others, and a reviewer for three additional publications. She also has reviewed for the National Science Foundation, the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Royal Society of New Zealand Centres of Research Excellence Fund.

David S. Riggs, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Center for Deployment Psychology. Dr. Riggs received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1990 after completing a clinical psychology internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Subsequently, he held clinical research positions at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety and the National Center for PTSD at the Boston VA Medical Center as well as academic appointments at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania. As a clinical and research psychologist, much of David’s work has focused on trauma, violence and anxiety with a particular interest in the impact of PTSD and other anxiety disorders on the families of those directly affected. Dr. Riggs has published over 60 articles and book chapters and presented over 100 papers and workshops on topics including posttraumatic disorder, domestic violence, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and behavioral therapy. He served as a member of the PTSD Treatment Guidelines Committee and Chair of the Marital and Family Therapy subcommittee for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. In addition, Dr. Riggs is very involved in disseminating effective psychological treatments and serves on the Dissemination Task Force of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He has trained numerous student and mental health professionals from the United States and other countries in techniques for treating PTSD, OCD and other anxiety disorders. This included training professionals in ways to address the needs of survivors of international terror, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, military trauma, and sexual and physical assault. Recently he co-led a series of workshops to train military behavioral health professionals who are preparing to deploy to treat PTSD and other trauma-related distress. As the Director of the Center for Deployment Psychology, Dr. Riggs continues this effort as he oversees the development and delivery of training seminars to behavioral health professionals to prepare them to provide for the needs of deployed Service members and their families.

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