An analysis of National Guard post-deployment relationships

Individuals differ in the ways they typically cope with stressful life circumstances. Authors Christina M. Marini and Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, who work at MFRI, and Sharon L. Christ, and Melissa M. Franks evaluated military couples and their coping strategies in relation to their psychological health during reintegration after deployment.

The article, published in the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships” evaluated 175 National Guard couples who recently experienced deployment and addressed two main topics: (1) whether there were interactive associations among partners’ coping strategies and (2) whether service members’ level of combat exposure moderated any of these associations. The research showed that psychological health was positively associated with one’s own emotion expression and negatively associated with one’s own avoidance.

There was also a significant association between service members’ psychological health and their significant others’ emotion expression but only in the context of high combat exposure. The article is available through the publisher’s website.

Deadline extended for Focus Forward Fellowship

Military-connected women will travel to Indianapolis from throughout the nation to take part in the Focus Forward Fellowship program, a new initiative designed by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University to serve rising military-connected sophomores and juniors who are enrolled in four-year colleges and universities.

The deadline to apply for this program has been extended until Friday, June 24 at noon.

The program will be held Aug. 11-14 with an in-person workshop, followed by additional web-based activities scheduled throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.

During the free, weekend-long program, fellows will work together to increase personal effectiveness, building a potentially transformative community experience. The goal is for lessons learned with hands on training to translate to fellows’ home campuses and continue to impact them throughout their academic and professional careers.

“Eighty-two percent of post-9/11 female veterans joined the military to receive education benefits,” said Lauren Runco, MFRI’s director of education and employment. “We are committed to helping them build existing skills and transition to the next phase of their lives. I am so excited to see what our Fellows accomplish!”

Sponsorship opportunities for this fellowship are also available. To learn more, contact Jennifer Shirley at JTShirley@prf.org. For more information about the program, contact Runco at lrunco@purdue.edu or call 765-496-3403. Connect with MFRI on Twitter at @MFRIPurdue and use #FWDFellows to join the conversation.

Stand Down provides thanks, support for veterans

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University is pleased to announce the awarding of 11 community mobilization grants to organizations and family support groups across Indiana.

Organizations will use the grants to target issues such as homelessness, financial readiness and career support.

“Our goal is that these grants will help improve the quality of life and community supports for service members, veterans and their families,” said Martina Sternberg, director of community outreach at MFRI. “Applicants submitted impressive, quality proposals, which judges then scored. Our recipients received up to $2,500 each, but the amount varied.”

In 2015, MFRI awarded 25 grants ranging from $500-$2,500. These funds served more than 2,500 military-affiliated families in Indiana. Some of the proposals funded:

  • programming about financial literacy;
  • leadership training;
  • employment readiness; and
  • homeless and at-risk families.

Below is the award list of organizations and family support groups across Indiana.