The Family Institute Launches Veteran Couple Research Study, Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense

Released: 5-Jun-2014 12:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Family Institute at Northwestern University
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Newswise — (Evanston, IL, June 5, 2014) – The Family Institute at Northwestern University, an organization committed to strengthening and healing families from all walks of life through clinical service, education and research, is pleased to announce that Lynne Knobloch-Fedders, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and The Family Institute’s Director of Research and Kovler Scholar, will serve as a co-investigator on a $659,000 research grant awarded by the Department of Defense U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under the Military Operational Medicine Research Program.

The award, received in collaboration with Dr. Leanne Knobloch from the University of Illinois and Dr. Benjamin Karney from UCLA, will fund the study “Reunification Difficulty of Military Couples Following Deployment.” This four-year project, the first federally-funded research study conducted by The Family Institute, is designed to investigate how military couples reunite after a veteran returns home from combat deployment, and officially launched June 1st.

The reentry of service members back into family life after deployment can be extremely challenging for military couples. Military personnel may have trouble acclimating to changes that occurred they were away, spouses who managed autonomously during deployment may find it difficult to share decision-making power, and both partners may struggle to renew closeness.”

The demands of reentry also take a substantial toll on people’s personal and relational well-being. Both military personnel and their at-home partners are at risk for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and relationship distress during the period following homecoming. Knobloch-Fedders notes that there is an “urgent need for research to inform prevention and intervention services for couples during the transition to reintegration.”

The goal of this research project is to evaluate how people’s mental health symptoms and romantic relationship characteristics predict their reintegration difficulties following deployment. The researchers will collect online survey data from 250 couples one month before homecoming, at homecoming, and for seven consecutive months after homecoming, in an effort to evaluate patterns of change as the transition unfolds over time.
To speak with Dr. Knobloch-Fedders about the grant award from the Department of Defense, or about the “Reunification Difficulty of Military Couples Following Deployment” study, contact her at 847-733-4300 ext. 796. For information about The Family Institute, contact Cyndi Schu at 312-609-5300, ext. 483, or visit www.family-institute.org.

ABOUT THE FAMILY INSTITUTE AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY – An affiliate of Northwestern University, The Family Institute is a unique, innovative not-for-profit organization, governed by its own independent Board of Directors and responsible for its own funding. The Institute offers a wide range of high quality mental health counseling services through our staff practice and sliding-fee scale clinic, where we are committed to serving at-risk, under-resourced communities. The Family Institute also operates two nationally-renowned graduate programs in marriage and family therapy and counseling psychology in affiliation with Northwestern university, and conducts cutting-edge research projects that lead to better understanding and treatment of mental health issues.


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