Family Resiliency Center | Illinois


Relational Turbulence and Resiliency of Military Families During Post-Deployment Reintegration

Overview | Research Team | Publications | Funding Partners | Contact

Project Overview

The transition from deployment to reintegration is a challenging time for service members, spouses, and children. Although all family members are at greater risk for depression, anxiety, and relationship distress during the transition, some military families are able to thrive in the midst of the upheaval. The goal of the proposed project is to document the factors that promote resiliency among military families who are navigating the transition from deployment to reintegration. The project brings together experts in interpersonal communication, military family outreach, and parenting to examine the resiliency of families during the post-deployment transition.

For Study 1, we conducted in-depth interviews with 33 military youth about their experiences during a family member’s recent deployment. The interviews were conducted in July of 2011 and data analysis is currently underway. For Study 2, we collected longitudinal self-report data from 118 military couples for the first three months upon reunion. Data collection began in November of 2010 and concluded in August of 2011, and data analysis is ongoing at present. The two studies are innovative for illuminating the obstacles and opportunities that military families face during the transition.

Research Team

Leanne K. Knobloch
Associate Professor
Department of Communication

Patricia C. McGlaughlin
Extension Specialist and State Military Liasion

Aaron T. Ebata
Associate Professor
Department of Human and Community Development
Family Resiliency Resource Center


Knobloch, L. K., Pusateri, K. B., Ebata, A. T., & McGlaughlin, P. C. (in press). Experiences of military youth during a family member's deployment: Changes, challenges, and opportunities. Youth & Society.

Funding Partners

The funding for this project was provided through the Family Resiliency Center Seed Grant Program.


Leanne K. Knobloch
Associate Professor, Department of Communication
3001 Lincoln Hall, 702 South Wright Street
Telephone: 217-333-8913




This project is valuable for documenting the communication patterns and parenting strategies that contribute to family resiliency during the post-deployment transition. The findings will be useful to military families as well as educators, community partners, and government agencies who support them during the reintegration period.


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