U of M Research Helping Military Families After Deployment

September 26, 2017 08:42 PM

Research at the University of Minnesota is helping military family after deployments.

Researchers have dubbed the program After Deployment Adaptive Parenting Tools, or ADAPT.


Since 2010, more than 300 Minnesota National Guard and Reserve Unit families have been involved in the study. The research has shown to improve parenting confidence and skills, reduce PTSD symptoms and suicide. The research has also boosted children's behavior and resilience in school.

Developed by Dr. Abi Gewirtz, a professor in the University's Department of Family Social Science and the Institute of Child Development, the program's goal is to build resilience in highly stressed military families by training parents in core effective parenting skills, stress reduction and family communication techniques.

"Our families who serve are remarkable, resilient and they deserve the best tools we can provide" Abi Gewirtz, Ph.D., L.P. said. "Next generation of military service members are more likely to be the children of this generation of service members, so any benefit, any resources that can be used to help military families now will benefit our country in the next generation."

Doug and Amy Watson of Carver are taking part in the study. Doug Wason, a father of four has served in the Minnesota National Guard for nearly 20 years.  

"It definitely has made a happier home," Doug Watson said ."I've learned more than I thought I would."

"It's helped us out a lot," Amy Watson said. "It's helped us that we're communicating effectively, we're understanding the kids emotions."

The Department of Defense gave the University of Minnesota grants to help fund additional studies.

The University of Minnesota is looking for military families with school aged children to take part. 

Click here for more information: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/fsos/projects/adapt/



Joe Mazan

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