It is no secret to me how resilient military families are. We go through a lot. Moving to a new city every few years and living far away from our family and friends. We have to build new networks, attend new schools, and find new jobs. What is it that makes our families so resilient? Research is being done now!
I would like to introduce Danae Laut, a Ph.D. student in the Counselling Psychology Department at the University of Calgary. She is currently recruiting participants for her doctoral research project looking at the impact of occupational stress injuries (OSI) on military families, as well as resilience in children (11-18yo) in military families.
Her goal is to study the ways military families are resilient and what strengths can be drawn upon to support other families. There are two “strands” to her project.
The first strand is a survey. Parents who are current or former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and whose mental health has been impacted by an OSI fill out a brief questionnaire about their symptoms. Then their children (ages 11-18) fill out a longer questionnaire about their relationship with their parents, their own mental health, and their personal strengths. The idea is to better understand the impact parents with OSI have on kids and what protective factors might buffer kids against this stress.
The second strand is a 30-90-minute interview with teens (ages 14-18) of a military parent with an OSI, who feel they are coping pretty well. For this portion, they want to get a better understanding of the experiences of these youth as well as how they cope with and manage with a parent who has an OSI.
People can participate in one strand or the other, or both strands if they want to. The long-term goal is to gain insights into what sorts of prevention and intervention programming we can provide for military personnel and other first responders and their families.
If your family falls into either or both of these categories, please participate. The results of the study can help society build stronger families and more resilient children.