News

MFRI helps organizations advance change for military and veteran families

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University (MFRI), in partnership with the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), will host “Building Your Battle Plan to Support Military and Veteran Families” on Nov. 13 in Arlington, Va.

Led by experts and authors of MFRI’s initiative, “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families,” guests from nonprofit and veteran service organizations will come together to create specific, targeted plans to support and advance transformational change in family support for military and veteran families.

The text (Hughes-Kirchubel, MacDermid Wadsworth & Riggs, 2018), offers key insights that focus on how organizations can produce powerful supports for military families before, during and after major conflicts. Contributors’ integrated knowledge gained during their work with families and distilled recommendations into practical, experience-based chapters.

A panel discussion will kick off the event. Each panelist will provide the audience with insight on how to build plans of support that offer applicable solutions for military and veteran families. The panelists will offer recommendation based on sector-wide experiences in the years following 9/11.

“These important groups are coming together to actively engage and collaborate to find solutions for military and veteran families,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, MFRI director. “History has shown us that major conflicts can arise without warning. These changes affect military and veteran families in a variety of ways. With this in mind, the attendees will collectively build viable solutions that can be strategically implemented during a future major conflict.”

The 2017 and 2018 MFRI Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families awards will also be presented at the event. Eight prominent scholars reviewed over 700 scientific articles from each year. Multiple rounds of review yielded the winning articles.

MFRI established the award in 2015 to recognize the best research on military-connected families. It is awarded to authors of research that combines exceptional rigor with important insights about military and veteran families. Nominations for this award are neither solicited nor accepted. Instead, a panel of top scholars reviews all the published research during the year and then determines the recipient.

About MFRI

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This internationally-recognized organization is located at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

About AUSA

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is the only private, nonprofit professional organization serving all components of America’s Total Army and its supporters. Since 1950, AUSA has provided a voice for the Army and vital services for Soldiers, Army civilians, and their families to advance the security of our nation. If you have a connection with the Army—professionally or personally—AUSA is your resource for exclusive access to scholarships and grants, business opportunities, educational resources, philanthropy initiatives, family programs, influential representation, and genuine relationships with a supportive Army community.

Additional trainings created for SBHP providers

A nationally-recognized initiative created by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University (MFRI) and others has expanded training opportunities for civilian behavioral health providers.

Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) now offers sustainment training for providers who have completed SBHP Tier Two training. The initiative was created by MFRI, the Center for Deployment Psychology, the Indiana National Guard and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration in 2010. SBHP trains civilian behavioral health professionals about military-specific issues. It also helps military and veteran families find SBHP providers through an online registry that MFRI maintains and manages.

Providers wanting to increase their knowledge about service members, veterans and their families can sequentially complete three training tiers, each targeting specific areas of military culture and evidence-based psychotherapies. Providers that complete Tier Two training now can add sustainment training to their portfolio.

“Sustainment training was added to continue provider education,” said Christy Collette, MFRI outreach specialist. “Unlike prerequisite trainings, this covers additional topics, such as military sexual trauma. It also offers continuing education units.”

An award-winning initiative, SBHP is now active in nine states. The collaboration was the model for federal legislation that increased civilian behavioral healthcare support for military and veteran families.

The first sustainment trainings will take place Nov. 14-15 in at the American Red Cross of Indiana, 1212 E. California Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

To learn more about SBHP and sustainment training, visit starproviders.org or contact Collette at flynn14@purdue.edu.

Join the conversation by following MFRI on Facebook and Twitter @MFRIPurdue.

About MFRI

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This internationally-recognized organization is located at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

MFRI’s “War and Family Life” reviewed in scholarly journal

A 2016 research text, part of Springer’s Risk and Resilience in Military and Veteran Families series, has garnered praise for its fresh perspectives in the study of military-connected families.

The Journal of Family Theory and Review recently contained a review on “War and Family Life.” Each chapter in the book was based on a presentation given at the 2013 International Research Symposium on Military and Veteran Families.

“The editors and contributors to this book are to be commended for their efforts to extend the focus of military research beyond service members and veterans to include family members,” wrote reviewers Heidi Cramm, assistant professor at Canada’s Queens University and Deborah Norris, associate professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, also located in Canada.

According to Cramm and Norris, “War and Family Life” expressly moves beyond the descriptive state of military family research to tease apart the multiple, complex factors at play in the daily lives of military families.

This unique resource provides findings and insights regarding the multiple impacts of military duty on service members and veterans, specifically from a family standpoint. Broad areas of coverage include marital and family relationships, parenting issues, family effects of war injuries, and family concerns of single service members.

“It is also refreshing to read research (e.g., Chapters 5 and 6) that offers perspectives other than those often reported in the military family literature, for example, the negative sequelae of PTSD on military families, particularly decreased family functioning and decreased marital satisfaction (Lambert, Engh, Hasbun, & Holzer 2012; Monson, Taft, & Fredman, 2009),” the scholars wrote.

“War and Family Life” was edited by Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI, and David Riggs, executive director of the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP). The book was published by Springer in 2016.

The Journal of Family Theory and Review is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the National Council on Family Relations.

Battlemind to Home Summit a resounding success

Nearly 300 behavioral health, legal and service providers gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday to increase their knowledge and strengthen community supports for veterans, service members and their families.

Battlemind to Home Summit is one of the most engaging military and veteran health summits in the state. The summit is hosted by the Military Family Research Institute, in partnership with the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical CenterIndiana National Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Its purpose is to increase community awareness about the challenges and opportunities that are unique to military and veteran families. Ever expanding, this year’s featured content addressed legal needs for the first time. It also addressed physical and mental health concerns, and offered information about creating and increasing sense of community for military personnel.

In one breakout session, attendees learned ways to engage veterans as community assets. Another session focused on increasing community awareness about families and caregivers of veterans. Finally, another breakout presented suicide gatekeeper training to help attendees understandi how to “Question, persuade, and refer” an at-risk individual. Judge Dave Certo and the Indiana State Bar Association presented a mock veterans treatment court to educate attendees about diversion court benefits, and Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Stube (Ret.) presented a powerful afternoon keynote detailing his lessons learned from the battlefield.

Next year, Battlemind to Home Summit turns 10, and MFRI looks forward to hosting the summit at Purdue University. The event temporarily leaves Indianapolis to enable more service providers through the state to attend. To be notified about Battlemind to Home Summit 2019 programming and registration, complete this form. You can also find information about Battlemind on social media by following MFRI on Twitter using #battlemindIN, and “liking” MFRI on Facebook.

Military and Veteran Family Research in Excellence Award recipients announced

The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University (MFRI) will present the 2017 and 2018 Awards for Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families today (Nov. 13).

Eight prominent scholars reviewed over 700 scientific articles from each year. Multiple rounds of review yielded the winning articles.

The 2017 selection, Post-9/11 veterans and their partners improve mental health outcomes with a self-directed mobile and web-based wellness training program: A randomized controlled trial, appeared in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The 2018 selection, How family structures and processes interrelate: The case of adolescent mental health and academic success in military families, appeared in the Journal of Family Issues.

“One of our goals at MFRI is to increase the impact of excellent research, and this award helps strengthen connections between researchers, policy makers and practitioners,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, MFRI director. “We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate the excellent work of these outstanding scholars.”

The 2017 award recipients include:

  • Janet Kahn, Ph.D., LMT, University of Vermont
  • William Collinge, D., MPH, LCSW, Collinge and Associates, Inc.
  • Robert Soltysik, M.S., Optimal Data Analysis, LLC

The 2018 award recipients include:

  • Amy Laura Arnold Ph.D. CFLE, ICF
  • Mallory Lucier-Greer, Ph.D., Auburn University
  • Jay Mancini, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens
  • James Ford, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens
  • A.S. Wickrama, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens

MFRI established the award in 2015 to recognize the best research on military-connected families. It is awarded to authors of research that combines exceptional rigor with important insights about military and veteran families. Nominations for this award are neither solicited nor accepted. Instead, a panel of top scholars reviews all the published research during the year and then determines the recipient.

MFRI is also pleased to announce the articles that received an honorable mention for each year.

2017

2018

To learn more about past recipients, visit the MFRI Excellence in Research Award page.

The awards will be presented at a co-hosted event with the Association of the United States Army titled “Building Your Battle Plan to Support Military and Veteran Families.” 

About MFRI

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This internationally-recognized organization is located at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

About AUSA

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is the only private, nonprofit professional organization serving all components of America’s Total Army and its supporters. Since 1950, AUSA has provided a voice for the Army and vital services for Soldiers, Army civilians, and their families to advance the security of our nation. If you have a connection with the Army—professionally or personally—AUSA is your resource for exclusive access to scholarships and grants, business opportunities, educational resources, philanthropy initiatives, family programs, influential representation, and genuine relationships with a supportive Army community.

Indiana community mourns the passing of beloved former MFRI assistant director

Military Family Research Institute staff, students and the wider Indiana community are mourning the death of former Assistant Director and Air Force veteran Martina Sternberg, Ph.D., who died Sept. 2 in Navarre, Florida.

The 53-year-old veteran dedicated her career to military-connected families, and her passion for making people’s lives better is a theme that will live on at MFRI. She was an integral part of building Battlemind to Home Summit into the collaborative success it is today.

“Martina will always be remembered as person with a huge heart and an exuberant spirit,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI. “She was an enormous part of building MFRI’s work, and above all was a wonderful and supportive coworker and friend.”

Community mobilizer, tireless advocate

Martina was an active member of her community, participating in local programs to assist those in need. She started a Trauma Intervention Program in Florida and the Grandparents Raising Grandkids Association. With a smile that could brighten the room, her enormous personality and wealth of selflessness will be sorely missed by all.

At MFRI, she led community mobilization efforts, expanding them to include work on behalf of student veterans and rural veterans. Her relentless work with homeless veterans helped thousands via fundraisers, benefits, and Stand Downs, which earned her several prestigious awards, including the Distinguished Hoosier Award presented by the Governor of Indiana, and the Veteran of the Year Award. Martina was a prominent gay rights advocate, and as a result, was invited to the White House when President Obama signed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Bright light, ‘big influence’ and mentor

Phil Turner, MFRI veteran justice outreach specialist, worked with her before being hired at MFRI.

“I remember Martina being an influence in my life and we didn’t even know each other that well,” he said. “In my small hometown in northeastern Indiana, we were struggling to find resources to help our local veterans. Under Martina’s leadership we gained a veteran Stand Down program that still is being used to this day. After joining MFRI, Martina became a mentor. I will always be thankful for her leadership and care for military and veteran families.”

Martina was a bright light in this world and touched many lives by broadcasting her radiance. After her time at MFRI, she moved to Florida where she is survived by her husband Scott Sternberg, daughter Jessica Craig, grandson Gabriel Craig and other beloved family members. She was preceded in death by her mother Dolores Henry, her son Joshua Craig and her brother Martin Preston.

Visitation will be Sept. 9 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel. Funeral services will be Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. at St. Sylvester’s Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Gabriel’s Trust Fund.

Battlemind to Home Summit registration closed

Registration for Battlemind to Home Summit (Battlemind) closed Aug. 22 due to overwhelming participant demand.

It is the first time registration has closed nearly two months before the event.

“We are excited to have a completely full Battlemind to Home Summit this year,” said Christy Collette, outreach specialist for MFRI. “Reaching our goal means providing education about military and veteran families to as many Indiana professionals as we can.”

Battlemind is one of the most engaging military and veteran health summits in the state and will be held Oct. 9 in Indianapolis. The summit is hosted by the Military Family Research Institute, in partnership with the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical CenterIndiana National Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Getting the information presented at Battlemind into the communities of each participant is key,” said Collette. “We can do this at a higher rate based on the interest level this year.”

To be notified about Battlemind to Home Summit 2019 programming and registration, complete this form. You can also find information about Battlemind on social media by following MFRI on Twitter using #battlemindIN, and “liking” MFRI on Facebook.

For questions or inquires contact Collette at flynn14@purdue.edu.

MFRI’s “War and Family Life” reviewed in scholarly journal

A 2016 research text, part of Springer’s Risk and Resilience in Military and Veteran Families series, has garnered praise for its fresh perspectives in the study of military-connected families.

The Journal of Family Theory and Review recently contained a review on “War and Family Life.” Each chapter in the book was based on a presentation given at the 2013 International Research Symposium on Military and Veteran Families.

“The editors and contributors to this book are to be commended for their efforts to extend the focus of military research beyond service members and veterans to include family members,” wrote reviewers Heidi Cramm, assistant professor at Canada’s Queens University and Deborah Norris, associate professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, also located in Canada.

According to Cramm and Norris, “War and Family Life” expressly moves beyond the descriptive state of military family research to tease apart the multiple, complex factors at play in the daily lives of military families.

This unique resource provides findings and insights regarding the multiple impacts of military duty on service members and veterans, specifically from a family standpoint. Broad areas of coverage include marital and family relationships, parenting issues, family effects of war injuries, and family concerns of single service members.

“It is also refreshing to read research (e.g., Chapters 5 and 6) that offers perspectives other than those often reported in the military family literature, for example, the negative sequelae of PTSD on military families, particularly decreased family functioning and decreased marital satisfaction (Lambert, Engh, Hasbun, & Holzer 2012; Monson, Taft, & Fredman, 2009),” the scholars wrote.

“War and Family Life” was edited by Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI, and David Riggs, executive director of the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP). The book was published by Springer in 2016.

The Journal of Family Theory and Review is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the National Council on Family Relations.

MFRI director recognized as a top contributor to work and family research

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, professor of Human Development and Family Studies and director of the Center for Families (CFF) and the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University, has been named one of the top extraordinary contributors to the field of work and family research.

The top contributors were identified by E. Jeffrey Hill, PhD, and colleagues at Brigham Young University with their eight modalities of excellence which includes:

• Publishing work and family scholarship (based on academic metrics: citation counts, articles, books, indices, etc.)
• Publishing work and family scholarship (based on reputation among work and family scholars)
• Funding of work and family research
• Disseminating work and family research to policy makers and the public
• Providing service to the field (reviews, professional organizations, etc.)
• Mentoring future work and family scholars (e.g., graduate students, new scholars, etc.)
• Making landmark contributions that have shaped the field (e.g., landmark articles, books, reports, etc.)
• Overall contribution (based on reputation among work and family scholars)

To identify the eight modalities of excellence, Hill conducted extensive research involving analyses of academic metrics, focus groups with top work and family scholars, and a survey of Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN) members.

MacDermid Wadsworth joined other top contributors on a panel at the WFRN conference on June 22 who shared their experience in guiding the work-family research field.

About MacDermid Wadsworth

Shelley M. MacDermid Wadsworth is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University, where she also directs the Center for Families and Military Family Research Institute. She holds an M.B.A. in Management and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on relationships between job conditions and family life, with a special focus on military families and organizational policies, programs and practices. Over the past 24 years, she has studied differences between small and large workplaces, how adults grow and develop as a result of their work experiences, and how different kinds of organizational policies make it easier or more difficult for workers to be successful at work and at home.

Her research has been widely published in scientific outlets including the Journal of Marriage and Family and the Academy of Management Journal, and has been funded and has been funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Henry A. Murray Center, the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the state of Indiana, Lilly Endowment, and others.

MacDermid Wadsworth is a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations, and a recipient of the Work Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Institute and the Violet Haas Award for Leadership on behalf of women at Purdue University. MacDermid Wadsworth has served on federal advisory committees for the Department of Defense and the Institute of Medicine, and has testified in Congress regarding military and veteran families. In 2012, she received the Morrill Award from Purdue University in recognition of outstanding career achievements that have had an impact on society, and in 2016, Purdue University received the Kellogg Award from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and the Higher Education Civic Engagement Award from the Washington Center in recognition of the work of the Military Family Research Institute.

She serves on the editorial boards of several major family research journals, and is a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations and a recipient of the Work Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Institute. She served on the Returning Veterans Committee of the Institute of Medicine and the Psychological Health External Advisory Committee of the Defense Health Board. She is currently serving on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee that focuses on military families’ well-being.

About Center for Families and the Military Family Research Institute

CFF and MFRI are an initiative of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University. One of the world’s premiere research institutions, Purdue is Indiana’s land-grant university, and supports missions of learning, discovery and engagement.

Battlemind to Home Summit registration closes Oct. 1

Registration for Battlemind to Home Summit, one of the most engaging military and veteran health summits in the state, closes Oct. 1, 2018.

Battlemind will be held Oct. 9 in Indianapolis at the Marriott East. The event brings together subject matter experts to educate Indiana professionals about the critical issues facing our veteran population. Sessions for 2018 focus on topics related to mental health concerns, community mobilization, legal needs and support and more.

Christy Collette, Military and Family Research Institute Outreach Specialist, said attendees will choose two breakout sessions to participate in at registration.

“There are 12 breakout session for attendees to choose from. Topics such as engaging veterans in your community, VA claims and faith based initiatives are just a few session participants can engage in.”

Breakout sessions include:

  • Suicide gatekeeper training
  • VA claims bring calm to veterans
  • Engaging veterans as assets in your community
  • Discharge upgrades
  • Veterans Treatment Court – a mock court session
  • Increasing community awareness about veteran families and caregivers
  • Maximize the Influences of Veteran Treatment Court mentors
  • Counseling on access to lethal means for individuals in crisis
  • Building blocks for energizing communities
  • Office of the Indiana Attorney General assistance for service members and their families
  • VA Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives
  • The ethics of representing clients with diminished capacity

First time attendees have the opportunity to apply to the Colonel Roger Peterman Scholarship, covering the registration cost of attending Battlemind.

“Roger retired from the Indiana National Guard after 33 years of service and served on the Battlemind planning committee since its beginning. This year we are offering one paid registration in his honor.”

Colonel Roger Peterman scholarship applications are due Aug. 13.

Register Now

Battlemind is hosted by the Military Family Research Institute, in partnership with the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indiana National Guard and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Find information about Battlemind on social media by following MFRI on Twitter using #battlemindIN, and “like” MFRI on Facebook.

For questions or inquires contact Collette at flynn14@purdue.edu.