A Call for Theoretically Informed and Empirically Validated Military Family Interventions

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Abstract

Although multiple evidence-based family interventions exist, less than a handful have been developed or rigorously tested specifically for military families. Indeed, few interventions available to military families are theory based or empirically validated; most have good face validity but little data on efficacy or effectiveness. This article argues for an emphasis on the rigorous evaluation, via pragmatic randomized controlled trials, of theory-based family interventions to strengthen and support military families. Data are provided from a theory-based, empirically validated parenting program for families (After Deployment, Adaptive Parenting Tools, or ADAPT) to demonstrate the potential for randomized controlled trials to yield rich data about family functioning beyond program outcomes. Opportunities to generate theoretically informed, evidence-based family interventions for military families will contribute not only to testing theories about military families but also to advancing well-being for the next generation of service members and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-601
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family Theory and Review
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author acknowledges funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA-030114 and R21 DA034166), and from the U.S. Department of Defense (W81XWH-14-1-0143 and W81XWH-16-1-0407).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 National Council on Family Relations

Keywords

  • Evidence-based programs
  • intervention
  • military families

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